British Asians worry more about caring for their parents in old age

4 Nov 2009 02:10 PM

British Asians are amongst those who are most worried about how they will care for elderly parents in old age, a new Big Care Debate poll has found.

As the Government’s consultation on the future funding for long-term care enters its final week, the survey shows a third of British Asians have concerns compared with a fifth of the wider population.

The survey reveals that England’s Asian population are:

·         nearly twice as likely to be comfortable looking after their older parents,
·         close to five times more likely to expect to look after their grandchildren while their children work, and
·         three times more likely to be up for extreme sports, but they are less enthusiastic about bingo.

The Big Care Debate is giving everyone the opportunity to have their say and shape the future of care and support services.

This debate affects everyone. In 20 years time a quarter of the entire adult population in England will be over 65 and the number of people over 85 will have doubled. Half of all men and two in three women will end up needing care, and if someone has more than £23,000 in savings, they will need to meet all the costs themselves.

Under the current system, the average cost of care and support is £30,000, but for someone with dementia it could be as high as £200,000. The Government wants to change this.

Minister for Care Services Phil Hope, said:

“British Asian families have a strong tradition of caring for their own and keeping older people close to the family. Social care services could do more to support this culture and stop people seeing homes and savings from a lifetime’s hard work be whittled away.

“I believe we can build a better system for the future, a National Care Service that supports all our aspirations. To make this happen I need to know what British Asian people want and to learn about what you do well so the whole country can benefit. This is a real opportunity to secure the future of your family and build a better society, please get involved in the Big Care Debate.”

It only takes a few minutes to join in the Big Care Debate at www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk. This is the last chance before it closes on Friday 13 November.

The Afiya Trust is working to make sure BME people get the chance to have their voices heard in this debate. Chief Executive, Patrick Vernon, said:

“Any process that enables British Asians to be supported in caring for their older relatives, such as the Big Care Debate is to be welcomed. Through our work with BME communities and social care practitioners nationally, it is essential to have access to accurate information about relevant services, housing options and how they need to be financed so they don’t fall through the net.”

The Afiya trust is inviting comments to its own consultation on the green paper with an online survey at www.afiyatrust.org.uk

Phil Hope, Minister for Care Services, will be speaking at the Afiya Trust’s National Black Carers and Carers Workers Network conference on Tuesday 10 November.

country are having their say on these options through the Big Care Debate. For further information please see: www.careandsupport.direct.gov.uk

2.       The Afiya Trust aims to reduce inequalities in health and social care for racialised groups. The Trust is an important bridge between policy makers, service providers and BME communities as consumers of services. For further information please see: http://afiyatrust.org.uk/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

Survey conducted by Opinion Matters for the Department of Health. The table below gives relevant figures:



  Asian or British Asian  respondents 

Overall response

Have you thought about what you would do if one of
both of your parents became unable to look
after themselves?

34.5% said Yes, I’m very worried about it.

19.2% said Yes, I’m very worried about

Would you be comfortable looking after one or both of your parents in their old age or one or both of you in-laws?
This means things like taking them to the toilet, washing or dressing them.
71.6% said Yes

39.1% said Yes

When you reach the age of 70, which of a given range of options do you think you’ll be doing?

28.4% expected to be looking after grandchildren
when children were at work

6.4% expected to be looking after grandchildren
when children were at work

When you hit the age of 70, given the opportunity do you think you’ll do any of a given range of options?

17% would take part in extreme sports

25% would play bingo

4.8% would take part in extreme sports

36.3% would play bingo

For further information contact: Department of Health Press Office: 0207 210 5221



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