Help the Aged today called on the government to set up a national network of handyperson services in England to help avert a housing crisis among older people.
Research published by the charity revealed that one in four older people struggled with household activities, often due to a lack of basic adaptations and at the expense of significant residential and intensive home care costs.
The research revealed 12% found it difficult to have a bath or shower and 19% struggled to use stairs. It also found 26% had difficulties tending their garden, while 21% did not know where to find advice on property alterations.
Joe Oldman, senior housing policy adviser at the charity, said: “It’s ludicrous that older people are still considered a minority group when it comes to housing – in just 17 years older people will make up nearly half of all new growth in households.”
The paper is designed to influence the government’s housing strategy for older people, due in October. Oldman called for the comprehensive spending review, which is also due to report this October, to provide enough funding from 2008-11 to increase the number of older people living independently at home.
The charity also called for lifetime home standards for all new housing and a more integrated approach to providing social care and housing.
Essential information on older people’s services