Milton Keynes has an ageing population. The numbers of older people is set to grow dramatically, to over 49,000 by 2026′ With a 66.9% increase in the over 80s.
Milton Keynes Councils Adult Social Care and Housing services are committed to helping older people live independently in their own homes. What is clear from national research is that home improvements are key to improving later lives and to reducing falls in the home. According to November 2017 report ‘Room to improve’ produced by the ‘Centre for Ageing Better’[i] “The percentage of people who have difficulty with at least one daily function (eating, bathing, dressing) increased dramatically from 16% at age 65 to around 50% at age 85.”
It is clear that by making small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers, alongside carrying out simple home repairs, can play a significant role in relieving pressure on the NHS and social care and reduce costs by millions of pounds each year. As well as keeping people safe and independent. Last year MKC put in
- 197 low level showers installed in people’s homes.
- 116 stair lifts.
- 40 ramps
- 82 other adaptions such as wider doors and handrails.
At Cabinet on December 5 it was agreed to put a further £250,000 in to additional Aids and adaptations for Council tenants. (Pages 92 and 98)
This is on top of the £1.064 million pounds being spent on disabled facility grants used to put aids and adaptations into the homes of older and disabled people. (pg. 100) The range of aids and equipment can be found on the MKC website.[ii]
Cllr Nigel Long, Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Housing said, “Helping older and disabled people stay safe in their own homes is a top priority. By investing in home aids and adaptations we reduce the number of older people who end up in hospital or very expensive care homes. I was pleased we put another £250,000 into the budget.”