People are coming out of retirement to help social care

Research conducted by a leading care provider has shown age is just a number when it comes to working to help others – thousands of people across the UK have come out of retirement to assist social care.

Home Instead, the UK’s largest provider of care at home, has reported a major spike in people coming out of retirement to join their workforce. The organisation has reported 40% of people who joined this year were aged between 50 and 80, with 630 of them at state pension age.  

man in blue jacket standing on green grass field near body of water during daytime

In 2022, 1,900 care pro’s joined Home Instead compared to 1090 in 2021. The national franchise consists of 224 locally owned offices, which deliver over 8.1 million hours of quality care to over 21,000 clients.

Coming to the UK in 2005, the organisation has over 10,000 professionals working for them, but the current oldest care pro in their network is former Model Judi Waymouth, aged 79.

Judi, who works part time in Exeter, said: ‘What better role is there for me in my seventies? I am so bonded to my clients that I couldn’t possibly retire, and my family has given up encouraging me to do so. Plus, I work with some amazing colleagues who I consider to be friends. There’s nothing I’d rather do.’

Despite people coming out of retirement to help Home Instead, a report released this month by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee claimed a wave of early retirement following the pandemic is the ‘biggest cause of labour shortages’ across the UK.

The report has examined the jump in economic inactivity and the number of rising vacancies since 2020 and discovered retirement, increased sickness, changes to migration and the UK’s aging population have all contributed to the current tightness in the labour market.

However, Home Instead has recently announced plans to create 4000 new jobs in the social care sector to fill the gap between the number of people who need care to the number of staff available.

Martin Jones, CEO of Home Instead, said: ‘We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve created such a multigenerational and diverse workforce. Age should never be seen as a barrier and the older care professionals we employ are very much of that mindset.

‘In recent years we’ve seen quite an increase in older workers applying to join us which is fantastic to see. We offer flexible working scenarios which fit around family life which is appealing to retirees’. 

Photo by Simon Hurry


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