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19 October 2011Accessible Information - Key to independent Living

We all want to remain living independently in our own homes as we become older, yet finding the right help, support and advice for adapting our homes can be confusing and difficult.

That’s why Care & Repair Cymru along with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Age Cymru and the College of Occupational Therapists are today launching a campaign to ensure older people and their families and representatives have clear information about the support that is available for housing adaptations and repairs.

Click here to see the difference adaptations to their home have made to Mr & Mrs King.

The Campaign will see 40,000 leaflets delivered to doctor’s surgeries, libraries, Care & Repair agencies, Age Cymru clients and other partners across Wales and will contain information on what assistance is available when considering home adaptations and repairs, including organisations that can help, the types of adaptations available, advice on what best suits clients’ needs and information on the grants that are available to pay for the cost of the adaptations.

Adaptations don’t only ensure that older people can remain living independently in their own home for longer, they also alleviate pressure and financial strain on NHS and social services budgets. It is estimated that for every £1 spent on adapting a person’s home - £7.50 is saved from health and social services budgets. It is easy to see how these saving are calculated when the cost of a hip replacement surgery conservatively costs about £25,000 and it has been estimated that housing adaptations reduce or remove the costs for home care, saving between £1,200 and £29,000 a year per household.

Chris Jones, Managing Director of Care & Repair Cymru said: “Knowledge is power, but in the age of technology and the information super highway, we were amazed at how hard it was to find basic information on the type of adaptations, and the help available to pay for them. This campaign is about filling this gap for older people, and making it clear what help they can get, from where and how to go about it. Adapting their home, rather than moving to a home is what older people would prefer, and this will be an important step in giving older people what they want”

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Ruth Marks, added: “Aids and adaptations can make a huge difference and help older people to live independently in their own homes by reducing the risk of falls and other injuries, which can have long-term impact on health and wellbeing.

“Finding information about home adaptations can be confusing and difficult. I fully support this campaign to ensure that older people can quickly access all the information they need about this, as well as the financial assistance that might be available to them.”

-ENDS-

Download the free leaflet from http://www.careandrepair.org.uk/care-and-repair-cymru-publications/ to find out what kinds of adaptations, support and grants are available for home adaptations.

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