Funding later life care is a major stress for most over-60s

Fewer than half of older people in Ireland have a plan for their care in later life, according to a new research, with 53% stating that they consider funding later life care to be a major stress.

The Spry Finance annual survey of homeowners aged over 60 found that 55% have no plan for care in later life, while 38% have a broad plan but nothing in writing. Of those who have a plan, 54% have had no discussions with family about their plans.

The research was carried out on behalf of Spry by leading independent market research company Behaviour & Attitudesi.

Spry Finance sponsor of the Carer of the Year Award

Spry Finance Presenting the HCCI Carer of the Year Award 2023 to Deirdre Marie Banks with David Brady from Spry Finance and Brendan Courtney.

Funding care in later life is a growing issue because of Ireland’s ageing demographics. Only 5% of all older people ever need residential nursing home care, according to the HSE; however, more than 56,000 people receive home support services from the state, and it is estimated that more than 500,000 people provide regular unpaid care in the home.

Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a selection of statements regarding their attitudes to care, of those surveyed:

  • Just 7% said they have a detailed plan for their care in later life
  • 27% were not worried about funding their later life care needs
  • 51% believe that the family home should not be used to fund later life care
  • 36% would consider releasing equity in their home to fund nursing home or home care

David Brady, Director at Spry Finance, said: “This research shows that funding care in later life is a major concern for older people. Most individuals and couples don’t have a plan for their own care and of those who do, only a small minority have a detailed plan.”

“Funding care, whether at home or in a nursing home, is undoubtedly imposing a significant financial burden on many families. It’s notable that our research found that 33% of those who expressed interest in the lifetime loan product cited home care as a reason for using a lifetime loan, up from 19% in 2022.


The B&A research comes at a time when Spry Finance has been experiencing an increase in enquiries from people exploring their options when it comes to funding home care.

Dave Brady added: “Many of these enquiries have come from home care providers in recent months. They’re seeking information to help support customers who are looking at alternative options to fund home care.

“Funding life in older age isn’t always straightforward. Whether it’s money for home or residential care, home improvements, supplementing your income, or simply treating yourself, people need options and and Spry is dedicated to providing choice for the over-60s and supporting them so that they can meet their financial needs and objectives in later life.”

Spry Finance is the proud sponsor of this year’s Carer of the Year Award at the HCCI Home Care Awards 2023. The awards acknowledge the exceptional efforts of individuals who provide invaluable support for those in later life.

i B&A research, August 2023, Irish over 60s, homeowners, predominantly Dublin and urban areas, sample size 316