This study concludes that the national home adaptation service run by Care & Repair Cymru (opens new window)(C&R Cymru) successfully identified older people at the highest risk of falling at home, and that the home adaptations subsequently installed reduced the risk of falls and resulting A&E attendance/ hospital admissions.
The research, led by the University of Swansea, involved examining the health data of more than 650,000 older adults (60 -95 years) living in Wales between 2010-2017 of whom 123,729 received the C&R Cymru home adaptation service.
- People identified and helped by the C&R Cymru service were almost twice as likely to have had a hospital admission related to a fall than non-clients prior to home modification.
- For these at-risk older people who were helped by C&R Cymru the incidence of falls resulting in A&E attendance/ hospital admission was lower compared to the control group who did not receive the adaptation service
- There was a reduced risk of care home admission for people with a moderate or severe level of frailty receiving a C&R Cymru intervention over a 1,3, and 5 year period.
This study clearly demonstrates the value of home adaptations in supporting more frail and vulnerable older people to live safely for longer in their homes, as well as benefits to the NHS. This is positive news for practitioners, useful for commissioners and helps to fill a recognised evidence gap in this service area.