Author: Age NI Enterprises
Published on 03 July 2013 02:00 PM
Continuing to live independently and in their own home is one of the most important desires for people in later life, yet a survey conducted by Age UK Personal Alarms* has found that some of those in later life are finding it difficult to access information to help them to achieve this goal.
A fifth of over 65s (20%) cited a lack of available information on independence aids for the home, highlighting a lack of access and understanding of services in their local area. Independence aids for the home range from fall detectors and grab bars to personal alarms and stair lifts as well as many others.
The majority of over 65s believe that information to aid independent living should be provided by organisations in the local community, with GPs and local councils coming out on top. For three fifths (61%) of those in later life their GP would be the first port of call, followed by over half (58%) turning to their local council for support. While some do believe that they have enough information on independence aids a significant proportion disagrees suggesting this information isn’t necessarily being communicated effectively to the whole community.
Two thirds (64%) of respondents believe that they will need some sort of independence aid in the future. Yet worryingly 16% over 65s remain unsure of what’s available or where to look for outlets that can provide information on independence aids for the home in their local area.
For those in later life that do already use independence aids the benefits are clear, with more than half (57%) saying that using them made them feel safer in the home and two fifths (42%) that they provide them with a heightened feeling of independence. Six in ten (60%) respondents also said that accessing them is just a normal part of getting older.
David Knocker, Age NI Enterprises, said of the findings: ‘Many people in later life want to live independently in their own home for as long as possible and therefore it is very concerning that many older people lack the knowledge of where to go to get information about independence aids. More must be done to raise awareness of independence aids and encourage discussions with families, doctors and local community services on how to improve choice, access and promote independent living.
‘Positively, the research does show that those who use independence aids benefit from feeling safer in their homes and that they provide peace of mind to the user and their family. It is therefore imperative that those in later life have access to information about aids for the home that can help prevent falls. An Age NI Personal Alarm is one such service which can help those in later life remain in control and confident in their home.’
To find out more visit www.ageni.org/alarm or call on 0808 100 4545, or visit the Age NI Enterprises office at 10 College Street, Belfast.
Age NI Enterprises Limited is an Appointed Representative of Age UK Enterprises Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority for insurance mediation.