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Support needed for elderly to stay independent at home

21st November 2013

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

A recent study by Centra Pulse has revealed that 16 per cent of UK citizens over the age of 65 have hidden an illness or injury from loved ones, whether friends or family. The main reasons behind this were reportedly concerns that they will be seen as a burden or could face losing their independence at home.

The poll was completed by 2,000 people between the ages of 65 and 93. Of those who admitted that they had hidden a health problem from friends or family, around 66 per cent said that they did not want to worry them and 12 per cent thought that they would be seen as unable to take care of themselves, despite aids such as home stairlifts and grab rails enabling them to do just that.

A spokeswoman for Centra Pulse said that more should be done to support older people so that they feel able to talk about these kinds of problems with their family members and friends. Not feeling as if they can talk to loved ones and work through their problems together is one of the main barriers to finding a solution to health conditions within the older population, according to the study, and it has also been suggested that it is important to have these kinds of conversations before a problem arises. Families and friends need to support their older relatives so that they feel comfortable talking about their health issues.

Knowing more about how to manage health problems is one way in which both older people and those closest to them can feel empowered to discuss illnesses and injuries and find ways of ensuring they do not lose their independence. From walking aids and stairlifts to chairs for the elderly and ramps, there are a number of aids that can be added to a home which can help to maintain independence and make a health condition easier to manage. Being aware of what help is available makes it easier to talk about the problem in the first place, which this study has recognised as a primary reason for hiding an illness or injury.

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