A report for Mature Times that was released yesterday found that more than one in ten of the 3,000 British over 55s polled had not seen their parents in over a year.  The study also found that almost one in twenty only speak to their parents on the phone around once every two or three months and that more than half of British boomers believe that they do not see their parents as much as they feel they should.  Furthermore, a third felt guilty that they don’t see their parents more often, with 47% saying they are worried about their parent’s well being as they get older.

Researchers also found that four out of ten of the over 55s wished their own children got in touch with them more often and that those polled claimed to have more contact with their parents than they do with their own children.   The results also showed that more than a quarter of grown-up children wish their parents made more effort to get in touch themselves.  However, 54% of over 55s worry did not do so as the worried about interrupting their children’s busy lives.

Explaining the study’s results, a Mature Times spokesman said: ”[p]eople are becoming busier than ever with their increasingly hectic work and home lives. People are also living further and further away from their home, which makes popping in to check on Mum and Dad more difficult. But this means that many are seeing less of their parents as they try to squeeze everything into their busy lifestyle. This can leave elderly parents isolated and lonely, especially if they don’t have neighbours or friends they can rely on either.”  The data supports these findings, revealing that 45% of the participants explained the lack of communication on the fact that they were busy and that 29% blamed work commitments.

However, we should not conclude that the elderly in Britain will necessarily need to fend for themselves. The study also revealed that despite the lack of contact, three quarters of children would be happy to look after their parents if they needed caring for later in life and that 38% would be prepared to move back to where their parents lived in order to do so.

Share your thoughts on these findings with IAHSA.  Do you think these would be representational of what happens in your country?

For more information:

Mature Times

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