Later Life attitudes are changing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it has prompted many people to reconsider their later life care options.

According to new research from provider Key, 35% of over-55s say the pandemic has made them carefully consider their later life options.

A further 29% of respondents said the pandemic has made them more determined to receive care at home in later life.

The new report, Tackling the Care Question, is the third in a series published since 2019, tracking the attitudes and opinions of over-55s.

This edition of the report noted a marked difference in over-55s financial confidence before the pandemic compared to how they feel as things start to return to normal.

Fewer people felt they could meet the cost of care using savings and investments, a decline of 11% to 33% and pension income (-8% to 32%).

There was also an increased expected reliance on local authority funding, up 6% to 14%.

The report noted that marginally fewer people say they have no idea how they will meet the cost of care in later life, falling by 1% to 14%. The proportion of respondents who knew they would be unable to pay for care doubled, reaching 11%.

Care costs with your local authority.

More than one in four say they will use equity in their home to help them, which is higher than in 2019 when just 19% said they would use property wealth as part of care funding.

Will Hale, CEO at Key, said:

“The pandemic has impacted not only how people live their day to day lives but also how they plan for the future.

“While the fact that the vast majority of people will need to make some contribution towards their own care has been a reality for many years and is likely to remain a constant even under the new Care Bill, people are starting to wake up to what this actually means.

“Unfortunately, this has seen an increase in people who are worried about how they will meet these costs, dubious about how well their pensions and investments might support their choices and therefore looking to rely more on local authority support.

“Others are keen to use their housing equity and more determined than ever before to receive care in the comfort of their own homes.

“People need to remember that forward planning is vital to ensuring that you have choices around how you pay for care and increasingly a multi-asset approach works best. Taking the time to speak to an adviser who specialises in financing care and navigating through the system can play dividends in the future.”

Having a mortgage in later life.

Also within the report are details of the average annual cost of care in a nursing home, rising to its highest in England at £50,908 a year.

The highest average residential care costs in Scotland are £39,988. Northern Ireland reported the lowest UK average residential care costs, at £28,652.

Even paying for care at home can be expensive – around two hours a day can still cost about £16,800 a year.