Edward Healthcare’s Home Adaptations Service
Foreword by Professor Martin J Vernon
As National Clinical Director for Older People at NHS England, and a Manchester based Geriatrician with interests in frailty, dementia, community services, care homes and falls prevention, I am pleased to introduce this new report focused on home and e-adaptations promoting safety, maintained functional ability and personal connectivity.
In the next twenty years in England and Wales, in line with most developed economies, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to rise by almost 20% to 12.4 million. In that time the number of people living with disability will increase by 25% to 2.8 million. As life expectancy continues to increase overall, in relative terms there will be a disproportionate rise in years lived with disability[i].
Closely linked to these demographic changes are the rising numbers of people living with multiple long term health conditions and frailty. Older people living with frailty currently comprise 14% of the English population aged 60 and over, the majority of whom have problems with mobility, require a walking aid and receive help to remain at home. From 2017 the NHS in England had begun to address this in primary care by requiring the routine identification of frailty among all older people as a means of targeting evidence based interventions in a timely way towards those with greatest physical vulnerability[ii].
The following report is therefore both timely and especially helpful when considering ways of supporting older people to continue living at home. It was formed from a literature review and offers information on the types of adaptations available through the layout of a person’s home, as well as examples of available e-adaptations. The main focus of these adaptations is aligned to key issues affecting vulnerable older people such as visual and hearing impairment, difficulty with mobility and accessibility, cognitive impairment and dementia and home safety including falls risk reduction.
It doesn’t offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ perspective but along with the toolkit gives the user the chance to further their knowledge and awareness of the opportunities available when it comes to making the home environment of an older person more suitable to meet their needs. The development of this report by those with experience of working with both industry and the NHS, has succeeded in assembling state of the art information on home adaptations for older people and puts it into a resource which is both simple and easy to work from.
Martin J Vernon MA FRCP
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
National Clinical Director for Older People and Integrated Person centred Care