Small changes make a big difference
Minor home adaptions and repairs can make a big difference to older people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life according to new research.
The ‘Room to Improve’ report by the Centre for Ageing Better and the University of West of England, Bristol (UWE, Bristol) found investing in home improvements also delivers substantial savings for the NHS and reduces the reliance on social care.
At FILT, we help thousands of older and vulnerable people keep safe, well and warm at home by funding vital home improvements.
Our work, delivered via a network of Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) across England, makes a practical and tangible difference. It helps people to cook safely, have a hot shower and keep their house warm. In a country where winter decimates our older population every year, these changes can literally save lives.
The work we do often involves making small repairs but these deliver a big impact. Just £45 enables a handyperson to fix draughty windows and doors, £95 provides gas safety checks to appliances, £500 repairs a broken or unsafe boiler.
For ever pound spent, our Warm at Home programme saved the NHS £3.30 – delivering a total saving of £2.4 million in one year through health improvements and preventing avoidable hospital admissions.
Home Improvement Agencies have a vital role to play in delivering positive health outcomes for older people, reducing hospital admissions and possibly avoiding residential care altogether. This is better for the individual and it is better for our health and social care system.
Let’s work together to make sure the NHS recognises the value of including home improvements in their strategy to improve patient outcomes and deliver greater efficiencies.