Milton Keynes Council’s Older People’s Service has as a top priority to help older and disabled people stay safe and active in their own homes. The Council has taken on additional staff and improved how it operates. The result has been an increase in the amount of work undertaken allowing people to remain independent in their own homes.
There are two types of funding:
• Disability Facilities Grant (DFG) for homeowners and private lettings. The Council increased funding this year (in 2016/17) to £870,924.
• Aids and Adaptations for Council owned properties. Funding was increased to £665,000 this year. But more needs to be invested. It is Value for Money.
Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and housing, Cllr Nigel Long has agreed to review funding and is looking to invest a further £300,000 in Council Housing funded adaptations and £400,000 in adaptations to privately owned or rented homes this year.
Aids and adaptations come in many forms ranging from flat floor shower rooms, to handrails, from ramps at the front door or inside the property to a range of measures within the home. See list of current work below
Cllr Long said, “Our Council Plan 2016-20 (pg.10) our Older Peoples Strategy 2014-17(pg.3) and our Falls Prevention strategy 2013-2016 (pg.7) set out our commitment to helping older, disabled and vulnerable people stay in their own homes safely for as long as they can.”
He added, “It was great that we have delivered 53 flat floor showers so far this year and a further 43 showers and 25 stair lifts and 14 ramps are currently being installed. It is great that we can invest in these improvements. They improve the quality of life for people.”
Cllr Nigel Long
Cllr Long concluded, “We want to do more. There is a big demand for such improvements. Such measures can reduce the need for home care services that are expensive. Adaptations help older and disabled people to remain active and avoid falls. They help people stay out of hospital and reduce the need to go into care or nursing homes. I hope to announce extra funding in the very near future.”
Outcomes of the review and current position:
Following a review to modernise the service. The responsibility for authorising major adaptations was transferred to the Head of Older Peoples Housing and Community Support in Adult Social Care via a panel supported by officers in the Housing Service and Building Services and Children’s Social Care.
YourMK manage the works once the panel has confirmed eligibility for an adaptation. They are currently working on reducing the waiting list through streamlined processes.
Additional investment was required to meet demand and outstanding works. The DFG allocation in 2016/17 increased to £870,924. The budget for MKC properties was raised to £665,000 in 2016/17.
In addition one off funding of £476,000 from Adult Social Care capital was allocated to manage the back log of work carried over from 15/16, totalling £741,520.
Due to additional staff and new processes in Building Services it is projected that the majority of the backlog for adaptations will be visited by a surveyor by the end of October 2016
• 53 flat floor showers and 1 stair lift have been installed so far this year, totalling £208,758.22
• 43 showers, 25 stair lifts and 14 ramps are currently in process
National research shows that the majority of individuals applying for adaptations do not have a formal care package in place. Analysis of the cases on the waiting list in Milton Keynes show this to be the case locally.
There is national evidence to suggest that savings can be made to Home Care and Residential Care budgets through completing adaptations as a preventative measure.
For those with care packages, one hour of home care per day costs around £5,000 a year. Research showed that in cases where the care package could be reduced through an adaptation, the annual savings to the home care budgets from completing adaptations varied from between £1,200 to £29,000 .
National research has demonstrated that individuals who needed to move into residential care or other types of supportive housing that had previously used DFG to adapt their home were able to stay in their properties longer.