House about that? 3m young adults live with parents, one in five will care for them too

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The UK is fostering a generation of young people unable to leave home owing to high house prices who, just as many of them manage to save the deposit to buy their own place, will then become responsible for the care of parents they’re living with, according to research from O2 Health. Lack of funds to buy will be quickly replaced with conscience as less social care is available for mum and dad.

Official statistics show about three million adults aged between 20 and 34 still live with a parent or parents. Meanwhile, one in five of us will become a carer of a parent or parents at some point in our lives. That means there are potentially 600,000 Brits who will be living with and then caring for mum and dad.

The research coincides with the availability of O2 Health’s new mobile care service, Help at Hand, nationwide at Tesco. It aims to help the elderly, ill and vulnerable remain independent from carers for longer.

On average, young people have to save for a decade before they can afford to buy their first home, which rises to 24 years in London, stopping 20-somethings from flying the nest. This comes at a time when the population is increasingly elderly with 10 million people in the UK over 65 years old. In large parts of the country nearly two-thirds will have developed a long-term health condition such as dementia, heart disease or diabetes by this age. This creates a vicious cycle, keeping grown children in or near to the family home to provide care when they should be moving out or taking advantage of life’s opportunities.

Not only that, but a staggering one in ten of carers say they have had to give up work or are considering doing so in order to fulfill their caring role.

But why do we think the fact that the children remain at home so strange? It was thus until not so long ago when people lived in multi-generational homes, with grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren. It was the norm and normal. The old folks looked after the little ones while the rest got on with making a living.

But that was also the time when everyone worked on the same plot, so to speak, and families not just lived together; they also worked together.

Is it really such a bad thing? Methinks not. It was and still, to some extent, is the common way with and among the Romani community that all the generations, as well as relations, live together and work together.

When it comes to unable to being able, for the younger generation, to move into a home of their own in Britain we have to thank the now deceased Mrs. T. for that who forced the councils to sell homes and to divest themselves of their own housing stock for rent.

We don't need to have more homes to buy; we need homes to rent, in the public sector, at affordable rents so that everyone who wants a home can have one, even though they may not own it.

Renting your home was common in the UK and still is the norm in many other European Union countries, much more than owner-occupied homes, and in many EU countries the rents in the private sector have to be about the same as in the public sector, thus there are homes available, more or less, for all.

All that it boils down to again is that we need a new system, not a new government. The New Labor government that came after Thatcher also did continue the same policies as did her government and its successor one under Major and the Con-Dem coalition is trying its very best to destroy the remainder of everything that was built up after World War Two.

© 2013