We know that safe and accessible housing promotes health, wellbeing, and independence and prevents accidents. But for many older people and care professionals, finding information on home safety and accident prevention can mean scrolling through numerous websites to find what they need.
New website to promote home safety
Age UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and National Trading Standards Scams Team are supporting a new website which draws together online resources on home safety. This includes fire, electrical and gas safety, falls prevention, scams and how to respond to medical emergencies.
You can visit the site by clicking here.
Cost of unsafe homes
An accident or injury at home can be a traumatic and life-changing experience and in some cases it can result in loss of life.
According to the new RoSPA national strategy, the highest rates of accidents among older people are falls. RoSPA found that in 2016-17 there were 316,669 hospital admissions in England alone of people aged 65+ due to a fall. Age UK found that 4,984 people aged 65 or over died from a fall in 2016.
Falls can mean older people spending long periods in hospital, who are then unable to return home without adaptations and support. According to the Building Research Establishment (BRE) “the impact of non-decent housing on health costs the NHS around £1.4bn every year”.
Many falls and accidents in the home could be prevented through simple measures such as grab rails, better lighting, and level surfaces.
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) have a vital and cost-effective role in helping older people to tackle safety issues. Over 70 Age UKs offer a handy person service– this includes the fitting of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails.
The online information provided by the ‘Stay Safe’ website can help older people and carers identify where they can find information and assistance. So do please use the website and these tools, and help you or your friends and relatives stay safe!