Howarth highlights ways for older people to stay in own homes

December 2, 2009 10:05 AM

Disabled Living Foundation logoCambridge MP David Howarth has spoken out today about the importance of supporting local residents to stay in their own homes as they grow older.

According to research released today (2 December) by charity the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF), more people are afraid of losing their independence as they grow older (49%) than of dying (29%).

When asked about the things that concern them most about getting older, over two thirds of people (68%) say losing independence or becoming dependent on others, second only to concerns about ill health (74%). Despite the current climate and pension concerns, struggling to cope financially (44%) comes in third.

The survey also revealed that almost half (44%) of us are worried about having to move into a care home in old age.

Thanks to better health care and healthier lifestyles, more people than ever are living to 100, but as the UK's older population continues to grow rapidly and the burden placed on the welfare system increases, there is both a need and a desire for people to be able to retain their independence and stay in their own homes as long as possible.

Cambridge MP, David Howarth, says: "People are living longer and as a result, there will be more people in Cambridge wanting to maintain their independence and continue to live in their own homes. This is where the Disabled Living Foundation can offer so much, not only giving details of practical equipment to make home life simpler but offering a wealth of free, informative advice. People should not have to struggle to cope and I am delighted there is support out there to help with every part of daily life."

DLF is the UK's leading source of impartial, expert information and advice on equipment to help older or disabled people continue to live full and independent lives in their own homes. A national charity, with 40 years' experience, it provides an unparalleled range of free information and guidance vital in helping older people find the items they need to continue to lead independent lives.

DLF's Chief Executive, Christine Shaw, says: "Getting older should not be a barrier to having choice and control over the quality of your life, or be a reason to move out of your own home. Many older people just need help, ideas and advice about the simple equipment that exists to help them with daily tasks and to lead full, active and safe lives. The tasks that most older people struggle with include getting into and out of the bath, using stairs and preparing food, including opening packaging and containers. But these shouldn't be reasons for people to rely on home help or be forced to move."

DLF's research also indicates that two thirds of people (65%) currently help an older family member, neighbour or friend with basic tasks to help them get by.

Christine Shaw adds: "A huge number of people out there are caring for friends and family members who can't cope with daily tasks like cooking or shopping. In many cases there are tools and gadgets available that can help people do these things for themselves but they are just unaware of them. We are here for older people and those playing a caring role who want to find out about the right equipment to help make daily life easier and safer."

For help and information about equipment and gadgets to make daily life easier, visit DLF's impartial advice website www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk

If you do not have internet access or would prefer to speak to an experienced DLF advisor you can call DLF's helpline on 0845 130 9177 (10am-4pm Monday-Friday).The call is charged at the local rate.

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