Finding the right care home for elderly parents is the most stressful decision most of us will ever make, according to a new survey.
The small poll of 259 British adults revealed that 84 per cent were worried about choosing a care home for their parents, and found the decision more stressful than buying a house, choosing their child's school, getting married and even getting divorced.
The UK is home to an ever-growing number of 'sandwich carers', who are juggling care of both parents and children. And according to the survey by the Care Quality Commission, decisions over caring for an elderly relative were labelled as either quite stressful or very stressful by 84 per cent of respondents.
Financial worries and fears over the standard of care, particularly given the bad press many homes have received in recent years, as well as guilt over putting a relative into a home all add to the pressure. And many Brits are forced to sell their parents' home in order to meet the increasingly hefty fees associated with care of the elderly.
Second on the 'most stressful' list was buying a house, with 67 per cent of the vote, closely followed by choosing a school for the kids. Finding the right child care took fourth place, with divorce narrowly beating getting married into fifth place.
George McNamara, from the Alzheimer's Society, told the Daily Mail: "Like walking into a maze blindfolded, when faced with the difficult decision of moving a loved one into a care home, many families struggle due to a lack of trusted information and advice.
"We know that for families and carers of people with dementia it is particularly challenging. No one should feel that they or their loved ones should have to settle for poor care."
The CQC survey was conducted to coincide with the launch of a new rating scheme for care homes, which will see facilities ranked from 'outstanding' to 'inadequate'.
Have you recently made the tough decision to put a loved one into care? How did you cope with the decision? Leave your comments below...