Housebound Older People’s Health ‘At Risk’

Some older people are being stranded in their homes where they are unable to perform basic tasks and look after themselves, a charity has warned today. Help the Aged claims some elderly people cannot bathe properly, putting their health and wellbeing at risk.

{mosimage}Its research revealed that one in ten older people find it difficult to have a bath or shower in their own home and one in five struggles to use their stairs.

The charity is calling on the government to help older generations lead a more integrated approach to providing social care services and low level housing support.

An improved national network of ‘handyperson’ services could ensure people are able to remain in their homes for longer by installing items such as rails in their showers.

At present over 200 handyperson services operate in the whole of England. If steps are not taken to help older people, the Help the Aged believes the NHS will face a greater burden on its services.

“When older people struggle with bathing it can have a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing, putting additional pressure on an already creaking health and care system,” said Joe Oldman, senior housing policy adviser at Help the Aged.

“Many find it incredibly difficult to admit they need help with such an intimate and personal daily task. Putting in a grab-rail or shower unit can help avoid the need for daily home care support and help older people avoid slips and accidents that can put them in hospital or push them into residential care.”

Help the Aged is also campaigning for ‘lifetime homes’ to be built so that they remain accessible throughout lifetimes as needs change.

The government is due to publish a new housing strategy later this year.