Freedom to go to toilet alone eases social care’s woes

Simple improvements to people’s homes can play a larger role in relieving the pressure on social care and cutting costs by millions of pounds a year.

More than 90 per cent of older people in England live in general housing, rather than specialist housing but the UK’s housing stock is often not accessible or not adapted to meet the basic needs of those over the age of 65 or with a disability. Far too many people try to navigate steep stairs and use inaccessible showers when simple home improvements could let people live independently in their home for longer.

Freedom to go to toilet alone

Rachael Docking, the Centre for Ageing Better’s senior evidence manager says by installing low-cost equipment like handrails in homes early on, hundreds of thousands of older people could live happier, more independent lives and could “carry out basic daily tasks like going to the toilet for themselves. It could also save our pressured health and social care services a huge amount of unnecessary costs and time.”

The ‘Room to Improve’ report, published by the Centre for Ageing Better, argues small changes to homes earlier on must be a priority to prevent or delay people’s use of NHS and social care.

Some minor home adaptations and home repairs can lead to savings of at least £500 million each year to the NHS and social care services through a 26 per cent reduction in falls. Falls account for over four million hospital bed days a year in England alone.

To read more about the report visit the homecare website.