New Research: Older people are benefitting from vital home adaptations

A new study, led by Swansea University, has revealed that adaptations to homes reduces falls in older people and results in fewer admissions to hospital.

The research is the first of its kind in Wales and highlights the important work of charities like Care & Repair Cymru, who help older people to live independently in safe and accessible homes.

Using anonymised data from a staggering 650,000 patients, aged between 60 and 95 over a nine-year period, it was found that those who had not received a Care & Repair service had a 17% increased risk of falling.

123,000 patients in the research had received Care & Repair support. These patients experienced a reduced risk of falling and were less likely to be admitted to care homes.

Speaking about the research, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of Care & Repair Cymru said, “This backs up what many have been saying for years – older people who receive Care & Repair services have a reduced risk of falling, reduced risk of being admitted to hospital and a reduced or delayed need for admission to a residential care home.

“The preventative care that Care & Repair provide improves older people’s independence and well-being and reduces the need for them to end up in places they don’t want to be, this relieves the significant pressures on our hospitals, GP practices and social care.”

The research provides strong evidence to funders in Welsh and Local Government, and Local Health Boards that Care & Repair services provides good value for money. Funding of this nature enables experienced caseworkers to visit thousands of older people in their homes every year and carry out works. This includes 18,000 rapid response adaptations to support hospital discharges and reduce re-admissions. It also covers many thousands of larger adaptations that support falls prevention and independent living, preventing damp and disrepair, and tackling cold homes, all of which protect the health and well-being of older people.

Chris Jones further commented, “In terms of investment from Welsh Government and NHS Wales, it is hugely important that decisions are linked to good and reliable evidence, showing positive outcomes for vulnerable older people. This new research adds to the evidence, clearly showing that Care & Repair services protect the health and well-being of older people, while also reducing the pressure and demand on our health and care services.”


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