More Work Needed To Adapt UK Homes For Elderly Residents
Just seven per cent of the UK’s homes meet basic accessibility needs, a new report has revealed.
Research conducted by the Centre for Ageing Better also pointed out that more than 90 per cent of people over the age of 65 live in mainstream housing, rather than specialist retirement properties, in the UK.
As a result, more needs to be done to make our homes suitable places to live as we age and mobility reduces, with the charity noting that “investment in adaptations is highly cost effective”.
Taking this approach is “helping to improve wellbeing, keep people out of hospital, prevent or delay moves into residential care, and reduce the need for carers”, the report added. To get the most benefit from home adaptations, installing them early on is essential.
Some of the key adaptations cited in the report include ones that allow people to move safely around their homes and reduce the risk of trips and falls, as well as those that enable them to look after their own personal care.
Adaptations falling under the latter category may include the likes of walk in baths, shower seats or easy access showers.
In addition to the benefits to people’s physical health, such home alterations can also improve people’s mental health by reducing the stress and anxiety associated with carrying out basic tasks in a home that’s not designed to support reduced mobility.
Earlier this year, Home Care reported that people with arthritis in particular are missing out on government funding to make home adaptations that could significantly improve their quality of life.
It cited findings from Arthritis Research UK, which revealed that as many as 80 per cent of arthritis sufferers are missing out on the support they’re eligible to receive because they don’t realise it’s available to them.