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Greater support needed for the elderly at home

21st March 2016

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A new study reveals that nearly two million older people in the UK may be feeling trapped in their own house as daily tasks become a challenge and greater support is needed to remain independent at home.

The research, conducted by Care UK, revealed how of the 1,000 participants with parents over the age of 70, 38 per cent stated that their mature relative was no longer using the entirety of their house.One in five elderly people struggled to safely go up and down the stairs or use the kitchen. Participants recognised how their loved one needed more support at home now that they were older, with a third suggesting that small household tasks have become harder than they used to be. 

As we enter our later years, being in suitable surroundings becomes hugely important. We want to be comfortable and independent, but leading a self-sufficient lifestyle can be difficult. Fortunately there is equipment available. Installing a home stair lift, for instance, can help us move around the home with greater ease.

Care UK’s research also discovered that a third of respondents’ elderly parents struggle to prepare meals and were in greater need of regular support when cooking. As many as three in ten had not seen their relative eat a full meal that they had prepared themselves in the last six months.

Head of Care and Clinical Services for Care UK, Pauline Houchin, said: “We are seeing changes to the ways in which people live in their homes as they get older, with a need for more regular care for mum and dad.

“This can bring with it many challenges. It can be really difficult for family carers to know exactly how to take care of older loved ones as their needs change.

“Our research highlighted concerns around mum and dad using the kitchen, meal preparation and even food shopping. This is very worrying as food and drink are such basic requirements, and a good diet can make a real difference to the lives of older people.”

With a quarter of participants reportedly concerned about their parents’ lifestyle all of the time, more needs to be done to ensure that those who choose to stay in their own home as they get older receive the support they need to carry on living a healthy life long into their later years.