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Caring decisions “worse than divorce”

Making decisions regarding the care of elderly parents is a more stressful experience than moving house or getting divorced, a new poll suggests.

The Care Quality Commission regulates hospitals and care homes. It questioned 259 men and women, asking them to rate stressful experiences. A hefty 84 per cent reported finding decisions on the care of an elderly relative either “very” or “quite” stressful, more than any other experience cited.

The next most stressful experience was buying a house, cited by 67 per cent of the respondents., followed by choosing a school. Child care was next on the list, with divorce appearing in the number five slot.

Care decisions regarding an elderly parent include whether or not they should stay in their own home or move into a residential facility. Many people feel guilty when making the latter decision, the Commission noted, and may also worry about finances and the quality of the care their relative is likely to receive.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb is Minister of State for Care and Support. He said:

“Choosing the right care for someone we love can be an overwhelming experience. There is a vast amount of information to deal with and balancing that with day-to-day pressures can be really hard.”

In May the government extended the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 to residents of government-funded care homes, who had not previously been eligible to make claims under the Act.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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