Women say feelings of ‘duty’ and ‘guilt’ delay care decisions
Women are pushing themselves to breaking point by shouldering the burden of care for relatives because of feelings of ‘duty’ and ‘guilt’. New research from Bupa shows that a ‘sense of duty’ is causing women to delay important decisions about care for older relatives, resulting in a knock-on effect on their relationships and even their own health.
With women usually taking on responsibility for care of older relatives, the research reveals that this is putting an increasing strain on their family. Almost two-thirds (60%) of women would put off thinking about a care home as they feel it is ‘their duty’ to look after their family, yet one-in-three (34%) say that caring for relatives has led to a strain in their relationship.
It means that important care decisions are being left to the last minute and women are pushing themselves to breaking point by shouldering the burden of care, with over a third (35%) saying that caring for relatives has impacted their own health.
Two-fifths (41%) of women say it would be their sole responsibility to find a care home for an elderly relative and women are a third more likely than men to feel guilty about moving a relative into a care home.
Andrew Cannon, managing director of Bupa Care Services said: “We know women are usually the main carers in families and we regularly see daughters, wives and sisters in emotional turmoil because they know they need more support to look after a loved one but don’t know where to turn.
“They have done a remarkable job in caring up to that point, but the stress has taken its toll on their wider lives. Often they turn for help only at a time of crisis.
“That’s why it’s vital not to let a sense of duty get in the way of important decisions about care. Delays can be unhelpful for the older person being cared for, but it can also have an impact on health, family life and affect people’s wider relationships at work and home.”
Bupa is urging anyone who is looking after elderly relatives to seek advice and plan care options for older relatives before they reach breaking point . As well as a helpline that offers free advice about care options (0333 920 8317) Bupa is offering the following tips:
Full press release on www.bupa.com
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