Greensleeves Care has launched Get Care Wise, a campaign to support individuals and families to start building their understanding of care early on. 

Coinciding with the start of Care Home Open Week 2024 (24-30 June), the campaign and its key new resource – an easy guide to getting ‘care wise’ – looks to support individuals and families to start thinking about care early on, so they can feel more confident and equipped to make decisions for themselves or their loved ones when the time comes. 

The campaign follows research done by Greensleeves Care with over 1600 adults in England, including care-seekers, which found a quarter (26%) of us are having to make difficult decisions about care for an older relative or friend at the point of crisis and while feeling ‘lost and confused’.  

Of those with experience making care decisions, 36% wished they’d known more about care and 20% would have welcomed more support when making the decisions. 

This comes as almost a third (29%) of adults in England expect to make, or help make, a decision about care for an older relative or friend in the next five years. Yet nearly a third (31%) feel unprepared to do so, and nearly half (49%) confess to having no or little knowledge of key aspects of care like costs.   

When asked about the key factors in feeling prepared to make care decisions, ‘emotional readiness’ (31%) ranks nearly as high as ‘financial readiness’ (33%) and ‘support from other family members’ (32%). Those factors are closely followed by having ‘information about care options’ (26%).  

The figures also show the process can be extremely difficult, with a fifth (21%) finding having to decide on care for an older relative or friend ‘upsetting’, and 20% largely avoiding thinking about it. 

“Our new figures confirm that many of us avoid thinking about care until circumstances force us to. They also show that, when that point arrives, we often feel thrown in at the deep end: needing to understand our options, research services and sort funding in a matter of weeks, sometimes days. As a result, many of the families who contact our care homes do it at a point of crisis and feeling very lost” says Paul Newman, Chief Executive of Greensleeves Care. 

“At Greensleeves Care, we believe everyone should have the chance to feel good about care. That feeling starts with being informed and equipped to make those all-important decisions for yourself or on behalf of a loved one. Our Get Care Wise campaign and free resources give people an accessible entry point into the world of care, and tools to build up their knowledge and confidence at their own pace and in their own time.” 

The new campaign has been backed by the National Care Forum, the voice of the not-for-profit care sector. Chief Executive Vic Rayner said… 

“We welcome Greensleeves Care’s timely Get Care Wise campaign, and the important research underpinning it. The research shows that many people are making decisions about care when at crisis point, often without the knowledge of how the system and funding works.  

“The Get Care Wise Campaign seeks to help individuals and their families navigate what can be confusing and emotional conversations about care early on, so they feel more confident in any decisions they may need to make, and understand how and when to access required levels of care and support long before crisis hits.” 

You can download your free Get Care Wise guide and the rest of resources here.