With a growing elderly population the cost of caring for ageing parents and grandparents is placing an increased financial burden on families.
And for those who can afford to pay for residential accommodation for their loved ones there is still the stress of worrying about the quality of care on offer.
But now the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ - working families who need to find care for both their children and their own parents - is increasingly turning to ‘granny minders’ to ease the strain.
A new ‘nannies for grannies’ service has been launched which it says will significantly reduce the cost of caring for grandparents, while at the same time guaranteeing a good standard of care.
Like Minders has been set up by a leading childcare company with the ambitious aim of helping to help solve elderly care crisis in the UK.
The service aims to offer the same flexibility and access to elderly care that many parents in the UK enjoy for their children.
While placing an elderly person in a care home costs an average of £30,000 a year, Like Minders charges £430 a week for half day, every day - or around £20,000 a year - or £25 for a minimum two hours care.
Georgie Jones, a director of Like Minders, said: “We found it astounding that care for the elderly is so inaccessible compared to childcare in the UK, at a time when the country is suffering such a crisis in looking after the older generation.
“Our nannies for grannies service aims to bridge the huge void for non-medical care in the UK. Our services are aimed at people who need a little extra help, whether that is personal care, help around the house or garden or just someone to chat to or have a cup of tea with.”
She added: “Through our research we found that one of the biggest problems elderly people face in our society is loneliness. We hope that by putting people in touch with local companions we hope they can build up friendships and local contacts.”
The launch of the new service comes at a time when the number of people aged 65 is projected to rise by over 40 per cent in the next 17 years to over 16 million. Over a third of these elderly people live alone.
At the same time Whitehall spending on social care in England has fallen by £770 million since 2010, meaning that 1.2 million elderly in need of care do not receive any formal support, up by 48 per cent over the same period.
Changes to welfare rules mean there is no longer free care for anyone who is not ill and has assets of more than £23,500.
Companies which provide full-time live-in carers say they are experiencing a rise in demand in the wake of waves of scandals about standards in care homes and traditional homecare agencies and soaring fees.
Now Like Minders says it aims to provide carers for shorter periods of time, offering the same access and flexibility to elderly care that many parents already enjoy for their children.
“We specialise in homecare and aim to promote independence, dignity and privacy as people grow older and need some extra help at home”, said Ms Jones. “We are dedicated to finding the right carer for each person based on their needs, their situation and also their personality.”