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Lack of Home Adaptations Keeps Thousands in Hospital

September 4, 2014

hand railAge UK are calling on the government to ensure all new homes are built to the lifetime homes standard to prevent the estimated 40,000 extra days that elderly patients currently spend in the care of the NHS.

In a new report entitled ‘Housing in Later Life’, the charity say that a lack of home adaptations such as grab rails and ramps is leading to patients having to stay in hospital for an extra 27 days on average, costing the NHS an estimated £11.2 million every year.

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said “It is worrying that so many older people are living in homes that are hard to adapt and in a poor state of repair. It’s time we woke up to the fact that good housing is central to supporting older people to be independent, fit and well. Building all new homes to higher accessibility standards would cost a little more today but it would pay off hugely tomorrow.”

The report suggests that the cost of adapting a standard new house design to make it into a lifetime home would be £1,500, which equates to less than six delayed days in hospital. Currently only 3% of homes have all the recommended features of the lifetime homes standard. Estimates suggest that over the next two decades the number of pensioner households will rise to 13 million, an increase of 40% from 2008.

You can download a copy of ‘Housing in Later Life’ here