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.

Making Financial Sense of the Health and Social Care crisis

And wow, what a crisis this is….

There is no doubt that publicly funded health and social care is in a pickle.  Moreover, the population is ageing and there’s a shortfall in the human capital needed to deliver good quality care. Something has to change.   And the good news is that there is a solution – it is called ‘Prevention’ and society is starting to take notice.

[See below for details of a new Return on Investment tool for investing in Older People, by Public Health England]

Of course, our HomeCheck services are a vital part of the solution. Through small changes we keep people living well and independently at home. Our mantra ‘Small Changes for a Big Difference’ has never been truer…… Take a look at our video introduction to find out why.

Quantifying the benefits

Lady in her kitchen

Public Health England has recently published a new report and ‘Return on Investment’ tool. As a result, Local Authorities, Integrated Care Systems / Integrated Care Partnerships and local AHSN’s can now make more sense of the return on investment on preventative measures (Like the HomeCheck services).

This is music to our ears, because we know first-hand what a difference a small investment in prevention work can make. Not just to the long-term prognosis and quality of life for many older, vulnerable and disabled people – but also for our stretched public services.

It makes societal, personal and financial sense to future proof our homes and our lives. Public Health England Reports:

  • Investment in Reablement (helping people live more independently) can deliver a huge  £4.71 equivalent Social ROI for every £1 invested.
  • Modest Home Modifications brought about a significant reduction in the incidence of falls at home for older people – the equivalent to a £3.17 saving to the NHS and Social Care for every £1 invested and  a whopping Social ROI of £7.34 for every £1 invested

You can see the Return on Investment tool here: Making Sense of the Health and Social Care Crisis

And of course, to find out how our HomeCheck services will help you deliver on better lives for all, contact us at: info@livingwellathome.co.uk

or visit our website at: www.livingwellathome.co.uk