Client using ramp and door entry systemA crowdfunding campaign has been launched to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes. It is hoped insight drawn from the work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.

The campaign, launched today on Crowdfunder – www.crowdfunder.co.uk/consumer-views-on-home-adaptations-for-disability – has been set up by Foundations, the national body for England’s 200 not-for-profit home improvement agencies.

Adaptations such as handrails, level access showers and stair lifts enable people to stay in their own homes. Research published by Foundations has found adaptations can delay entry into residential care by four years.

But very little research has examined people’s attitudes towards adaptations. For example, what would spur a person to seek help to adapt their home? What factors would influence how they future-proof a property to ensure they can stay put even if their health deteriorates?

The aim of this research is to better understand the motivations and expectations of people when they are looking to adapt their home, and what information and support they need to make a decision.

Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, said: “We have an ageing population and growing pressure on health and social care services.

“We know that adaptations and other support cannot only help older people to remain in their own homes but live longer and healthier independent lives. People are less likely to be hospitalised and in many cases will require a lower level of social care. But we need to develop a better understanding of what motivates people to seek an adaptation and gauge the level of awareness out there of the support already on offer.

“Supporters of our crowdfunding campaign will enable us to do that and in doing so, help home improvement agencies and other support organisations to develop their services and enable more people to enjoy the benefits of adapted homes.”

The campaign, which runs until March 31, is seeking to raise £14,500 to fund the research and there are a number of sponsorship opportunities available to supporters.

The Crowdfunder page can be found HERE

The 13-week research project will be carried out by Years Ahead, a consultancy that specialises in independent living, and will involve between 350 and 500 people.