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NHS encourages building of elderly-appropriate housing

13th February 2014

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

The NHS is looking to encourage elderly-appropriate housing to be built from now on to ensure that people can continue to live in their homes well into old age. Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said that more will be done by the NHS to encourage the “future proofing” of homes, including making staircases wide enough for a stair lift to be installed. Dr Poulter said that “It is far better for people to be able to remain in their own homes as they get older rather than facing moving into care”.

The news comes after the health minister attended a meeting called by Suffolk County Council to discuss the implications of inappropriate housing for the elderly and how reassessing building regulations and advice could impact on the future care crisis the nation’s elderly are facing. Small adjustments to building plans such as ensuring staircases are wide enough to fit regular mobility devices, with many people currently needing to search specifically for stair lifts for narrow stairs, is just one measure which could see people living in their own homes for longer.

Implementation

It has been said that the total cost of building homes in a way that is suitable for elderly inhabitants is far less than the cost of permanent care, in the same way that investing in walk in baths for the elderly and home adaptations not only provides an alternative to the cost of care but a way in which elderly citizens can keep a hold of their independence.

In order to carry out these changes there needs to be increased communication between housing providers, social services and the NHS. Once this communication has been established, creating homes which better suit elderly residents will ensure that houses all over Britain are appropriate for all ages and work towards enabling people to continue living in their own homes for as long as they wish.

Image Credit: James Bowe (flickr.com)