Homes may not be suitable to meet future care needs, report says

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The majority of over 55s admit their home is not suitable to cope with possible future care needs and could face high bills to adapt their houses, a report has revealed.

Research by adviser Key found nearly half (47%) of over-55s surveyed would prefer to stay in their homes if they needed care, while another 28% would want to be in a more manageable home or sheltered accommodation. Only one-fifth (21%) believe their home is suitable for their needs if their health were to decline.

The findings, which are based on a survey of 1,011 UK adults aged 55-plus, found 5% would expect to live with family members, while 4% would opt for residential care.

Potential improvements to a home could include installing a wet room, stair lift, or improving accessibility, its report, Tackling the Care Question, said.

Will Hale, Key chief executive, said: ‘The vast majority of people want to receive care and support in the familiar surroundings of their own home but only one in five people believe that their home is suitable if their health does decline as they get older. Indeed, flights of stairs, a big family bathroom and a multi-level garden might be incredibly desirable for a growing family but tougher for an older couple to manage.’

Its research found the average cost to age-proof a home in the UK would be £8,000. It would cost the highest in the South West at more than £9,000, and the lowest in the East Midlands at just over £7,000.