Research

Eight out ten of UK citizens are worried about needing to be cared for in the future but more than half (63%) would consider being cared for by robots, according to independent research from Younifi, a solution provider for local authority adult social care departments.

The research, which surveyed the views of 2,000 people showed that the standard of future care was the most common concern for respondents, including 75% of those not currently ‘in the system’. 74% worry about the cost of care and 64% about the impact of care on their quality of life.

Interestingly, for those aged 65+, quality of life ranked most commonly as a concern for 85%, while for those aged 45-54, the cost of future care was their main worry. Beyond basic care needs, well over half of the research respondents wanted care providers to offer help with companionship in later life, while 56% of respondents (70% in the 55-64 age group) wanted care providers to help them maintain a sense of purpose as they get older.

Many respondents were open to new ideas on how their care needs could be better met in the future – including use of robotics. 63% were open to the idea of robots assisting with some element of their care, for example:

61% said robots should be used to help improve safety e.g. detecting hazards

60% would consider the use of robots to aid mobility

59% are happy for robots to assist with physical needs e.g. helping to lift

While respondents are clearly open to the use of robotics for physical assistance, only 27% would accept their use to provide companionship and just 20% to help make decisions on their behalf.

The research also points to people wanting technology to be used more widely for accessing care and advice and maintaining the freedom to manage how their care funds are spent.

Tony Pilkington, Managing Director of Younifi said: “With more and more of us facing the prospect of being cared for in the future we wanted to better understand what worries people most when it comes to accessing adult social care in later life, but also what they want as part of that care. This research shows that people are worried about their future care needs, and this concern comes from the publics’ perceptions into how care is funded, managed and delivered in the UK.”

“Clearly, there is a need for these concerns to be addressed and for people to approach retirement age confident that their care needs will be met in a way that they are happy with. This can only happen if people have better visibility of the options available to them and more insight into how to avoid developing care needs but also to understand how care is managed and delivered. When in the survey 72% of respondents said they had low trust of local authorities, local authorities need to find a better way to promote these options to people.”

“The survey findings have shown that people are open to how care is delivered and that they are happy to embrace innovative technology if it means a better outcome for their care needs.”

Younifi helps councils facilitate and pay for care through a range of financial options and 100% real-time visibility and through a combination of technology, outsourced support services and transformational change expertise.

For more details visit www.younifi.co.uk