Foundations ‘Social Value of Aids and Adaptations’ report imageOlder and disabled people who have adapted their homes see improvements in mobility, wellbeing and wider physical benefits, according to a brand-new report that researches the social value of home adaptations.

‘Social Value of Aids and Adaptations’, launched by the national body for home improvement agencies and DFGs, Foundations, evidences people’s experiences of adapting their home. The report finds that home adaptations have a significant effect on independence and self-respect, and enable people to maintain greater degrees of purpose and identity.

The research identifies significant cost benefits showing how an investment in home adaptations and home improvements agencies (HIAs) can create extraordinary savings elsewhere in the system.

This research explores the stories of the people helped by HIAs to find, fund, and use adaptations to their homes. Enabling them to stay in the homes they love, in the areas and near to the people they know is hugely valuable at human level.

However, it is all the more essential when accessible properties are not being constructed quickly enough to meet the needs of a growing older and disabled population, nor is it economically sensible to construct afresh when needs can be met at lower cost in the houses that are already built and occupied, Foundations outlines.

Foundations Independent Living Trust commissioned this study and its report in order to demonstrate the impact that can be achieved through the provision of support, advice, aids and adaptations to people by HIAs in the UK.

Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, said: “Calculating social value or showing a return on investment usually involves complicated algorithms that can leave you wondering. With this report we wanted to take a different approach – to look at 4 stories of ordinary people who are disabled by their home, and the difference that adaptations can make to their lives. Each story has a sliding doors moment, where they are supported to make changes to their home or not.

“Of the hundreds of thousands of people who received a Disabled Facilities Grant in the last few years, many will have remarkably similar stories. Their health and wellbeing will have improved, and they will be using fewer health and social care services. That’s a win-win.”

Copies of The Social Value of aids and adaptations provided by Home Improvement Agencies can be downloaded here.

Rachel Russell, Senior Advisor at Foundations, shared an exclusive article with AT Today about Foundations’ Adaptations Triage Tool, which formally launched on 22 March 2022.

The triage tool signposts adaptations cases through to local authorities, so that straightforward cases can be effectively managed by trusted assessors. This then frees up occupational therapists’ time to deal with more complex cases, where their skills and knowledge are most effective in assessing and supporting the design of the adaptation.

The purpose of the tool is to help reduce lengthy housing adaptation waiting lists, ease pressure on occupational therapists, and facilitate adaptations without delay.

Read more about the Adaptations Triage Tool here.

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