21 Nov 2013
Families in Surrey are racked with guilt as the pressures of modern family life put a strain on relationships with older relatives. A study by older people’s not-for-profit care provider Anchor, has found that 46 per cent of people in Surrey feel guilty about not being able to give enough time to an older relative and six in ten (60%) would like to visit their relatives more if they could.
Reviewing the impact of contemporary lifestyles on family relationships, the survey of 880 adults in the South shows that one in two people in Surrey say they ‘could do more’ to visit elderly relatives and blame work (32%), personal commitments (30%) and doing their own household chores (22%) for the limited time they spend with their extended family.
Anchor, which runs award-winning care home West Hall in West Byfleet, also found that the main reason cited for not visiting older relatives by people living in Surrey, is that they live too far away (60%), while a fifth (19%) say not being able to keep the kids busy and interested during their visit is a key factor. Building in more family activities would be the biggest appeal for visiting more (26%), while a quarter would be more likely to pop-in if their family member had more space (25%).
Anchor’s Regional Operations Director for the South, Barry Yarnley, said: “We know it’s really hard for people who are working, have children and are also responsible for caring for or supporting their older relatives. Our research shows that having such busy lifestyles and work schedules does impact the quality time people spend with their older relatives and one in six people (16%) say they would be able to visit their older relatives more if they lived in a nicer, family friendly location. This is why we provide communal areas and host various activities at our care homes and retirement villages, which are inclusive of the whole family and can be enjoyed by every generation.
“At West Hall care home in West Byfleet, we are running a number of events where family members can get involved, such as Anchor’s Strictly Dance competition and a Winter Wonderland in December.”
West Hall is a state-of-the-art, award winning care home which has been designed to offer homely qualities whilst supporting people’s independence. All residents have access to an on-site hair and beauty salon, quiet room and library. The central bistro and private dining room provide the perfect place for family and friends to meet and dine together with residents.
The survey findings also show that a third of people living in the South visit their mum once a week, with people in Hampshire topping this list (35%), whilst one in five people in Surrey (22%) have left it over six months before visiting their mum. People visit their elderly fathers less than their mothers on the whole, overall one in four visits once a week (25%).
When it comes to visiting older relatives, trips are usually planned just a few days in advance (34%). Those in Kent are most likely to leave it short notice (42%) and as such are also most likely to describe their visits as ‘always last minute’ (14%). Those in Surrey are the most planned – one in five will always plan visits at least a month in advance (20%). People living in Hampshire also prefer to plan, almost one in five prefer to organise a visit a week in advance (18%) or a fortnight in advance (16%). A third of people in Sussex (33%) plan a visit a few days in advance, but are the least likely to never see any of their older relatives (5%).