How will rising costs of bringing up children affect families who also look after elderly parents?
It costs almost £150,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, an increase of 4% in the last year. This is the findings of a report by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), looking at the minimum cost to cover things like food, clothing, heating and other expenses.
At the same time, benefits for families and children rose by 1%, the minimum wage rose by 1.8% and average earnings rose by 1.5%, and there have been cuts in other areas such as housing support. Add this to the huge rises in childcare costs, financial strains on the average family are set to increase.
This is a difficult situation for any family, but it will be especially difficult for families that also look after and/or support an elderly parent. Whether that parent lives at the family home, needs help in their own home or is living in residential care, it’s an extra consideration for families with little time or money to spare.
If you’re a family in this situation, it’s important that you are aware of any help and support that your elderly parent might be entitled to from their Local Authority. Getting help with care costs can help to reduce financial burden, so make sure that you find out about council funding for care. If your parent receives a personal budget, then you could use part of that to hire a paid carer to give care and support, which can be useful if you need to work but worry about your parent being left home alone.