Making a home age-friendly isn’t just a bit important – it is screamingly, desperately urgent!

Firstly, between you and I, there a few brutal truths that mean making a home age-friendly isn’t just a bit important – it is screamingly, desperately urgent!  Why?

1. Fail to plan…. :

An unsafe home can lead to, otherwise avoidable, accidents or illness that result in unexpected crisis points for the household and their support network – meaning decisions are made in haste, with little time to reflect on a good range of choices.  If you reduce the risks at home, you can delay the difficult moments.

[Read more about the pressures of the ‘Sandwich Generation’ here]

2. Residential Care is rarely a first choice option:

People rarely move into residential care settings in a planned fashion, and it doesn’t have to be the inevitable next step in ageing after an accident or illness – In fact, only 4% of people say they ever want to move into a care home.  (We aren’t saying care settings can’t be fabulous, they can, but they aren’t always a first choice)

3.Residential care and even domiciliary (home) care is expensive – very expensive:

Residential care costs around £36,000 per year, but in more expensive areas can be upwards of £50,000 per year.  It is estimated that around 1 in 10 people over 65 years old face care costs of £100,000 or more. (So spending a few hundred, or even a few thousand, pounds on home adjustments seems like a bargain don’t you think?)

To calculate the likely costs for your area visit the WHICH? Cost of Care and Eligibility Calculator

Image showing 10 people with one of these in a darker colour to illustrate the point that 1 in 10 people over 65 years old face care costs of £100,000 or more.
Source: Commission on Funding of Care and Support and The Kings Fund
4. Not enough people to go round…..

There is a major shortfall in the human capital (people) in the domiciliary care system, making it harder to find good quality, reliable carers. Would you like to have a roll-call of strangers coming into your house every day? (So many carers are brilliant, but it is not always possible to see the same person each time and this places the onus on the family to make sure their loved one gets the care and medication they need each day)

5. Few people are eligible for State-funded Social Care

Firstly, State-funded social care (delivered via Local Authorities) is reserved for a very small section of the population. Secondly, the numbers who are eligible for funded care are reducing each year, despite the number of older people increasing. Most people will be self-funders, and may need to sell their assets to fund their care.

And so, it stands to reason that the longer you can delay the need for home care or residential care, the less stressful and less costly the ageing process is likely to be. And age-friendly home can’t fix all of later life challenges, far from it – but we promise you, it will help.

The Value of OT (Occupational Therapy)

The Value of OT – to you and your loved ones

Our homes have a big part to play in staying independent as we age.  If you need these changes because of an illness, degenerative condition or accident you likely need some additional specialist input – so who else should you go to? An O.T. (Occupational Therapist) will help you align your aspirations and abilities with your environment by undertaking an assessment of you  – that is what they specialise in.  The value of OT – to you and your loved ones should not be underestimated.

And with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists‘ mantra of #LiveNotExist; you get a sense for how passionate the profession is to make a difference to people’s lives.

Older man and occupational therapist consulting a report together.
Consulting the right professional at the right time is crucial to ensuring independence for longer in later life.

Make the little changes first, engage the right professionals at the right time for the rest

Throughout this site you will find a number of top tips and little adjustments that you can do yourself. You can do these either for yourself or for (and with the consent of) a loved one. The sooner you do these adjustments, the lower cost and less traumatic those changes will be. With our range of services, we can help you identify how Age-Friendly your home is. We can also help you come up with a good plan to make the little adjustments.  And then, if you want a design review or need the bigger adaptations, we can help too.

The Occupational Therapist has a unique set of skills to help retain independence

An Occupational Therapist can bring huge value to the process and you are likely to meet one at some point in your life journey. To find out more about the work of an OT watch this video on the NHS website.

  • You might come across an NHS OT during a stay in hospital or if you have injured yourself and they will provide you with some equipment to help you get back on your feet at home.
  • You might come across a Community OT, working for the Local Authority (or their delivery partners). They will assess for any aids or adaptations that you might need, including the larger projects like a walk-in shower.
  • Everyone is eligible for an assessment by the OT Service. But not everyone is eligible for funding from the council for the resultant adaptations – these are means-tested. 
  • There are also private OTs that can help you to get the help and advice you need, if you don’t want to wait for the state-funded OT availability.  Contact us if you would like us to put you in touch with a local private OT in your area. or 0800 44 88 248

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