A new survey commissioned by the Homecare Association, formerly UKHCA, has revealed that people’s attitudes towards choosing care in their own home has “shifted dramatically” since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The YouGov survey of 2,618 adults found that 35% of respondents are now more likely to choose care in their own home than before the pandemic, with 38% of over 65s agreeing that the pandemic has made them more inclined to opt for home care.
Meanwhile, 80% of all respondents and 88% of over 65s agreed that people would prefer to be supported at home rather than in a care home.
Common perception is that safety is a major concern when it comes to care, but the survey has revealed that the drivers for preferring home care were more focused around lifestyle and choice.
The top reasons for people wishing to choose care in their own home due to COVID-19 included; the effect on their ability to live the way they want (64%); how much control they would have (54%) and the effect on the ability to maintain their relationships with family and friends (53%) – all factors that have been compromised due to isolation during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Just under half (47%) of the respondents cited safety as a reason for choosing home care.
Jane Townson, CEO of the Homecare Association commented: “Homecare workers have been a lifeline for many people throughout the past 18 months, showing real selflessness and resilience in providing invaluable support to people in their own homes in incredibly challenging times.
“Homecare services can give people a wider sense of independence and control. Nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over – 88% – agreed that people would prefer to be supported at home rather than in a care home.”
The survey results also revealed that care workers are a skilled and vital workforce who should receive more recognition. More than 4 out of 5 people (84%) agreed that care is skilled work that requires standards, training or qualifications. Additionally, 9 out of 10 – 89% – of people aged 65 and over agreed that care workers make a positive difference to the people they support.
In light of these results, the Homecare Association has joined forces with The Care Worker’s Charity (CWC) to launch the first ever national ‘Celebrating Homecare’ day to recognise the highly valued services that home carers deliver.
The theme for this year’s inaugural event, which takes place on September 22, is ‘made with care’, to celebrate the relationships that exist between the people who give and receive care and highlight the many activities they enjoy together.
Whether this is crafting, baking, completing a jigsaw or even filming a TikTok, care workers and the people they support are being encouraged to celebrate something they have made or shared together.
Dr Townson added: “The government’s announcements on social care last week make it even more important that we should celebrate homecare and raise public awareness of the benefits that receiving support and care in our own homes brings to all of us.”
Speaking about the celebration, Karolina Gerlich, CEO of the CWC said: “It’s right and proper every so often to take a step back from the day to day and look at what you have achieved.
“Careworkers do such amazing work, bringing companionship, care and comfort to so many people. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate what they do!”