Smarter homes ‘could save NHS and social care system £2.5bn a year’

13th February 2018

Creating more modified homes, which encourage older people to keep mentally and physically fit for longer, could help save the NHS and social care system billions of pounds each year, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The report, Healthy Homes: Accommodating an Ageing Population, calls for Government to introduce financial incentives for construction companies to build for older living. It also recommends that product suppliers and manufacturers step up efforts to develop retrofit technology to allow people to live in their homes for longer.

Many older adults downscale as they become less active, but this often exacerbates mobility issues and the onset of frailty, resulting in higher risk of falls or injury and consequently non-elective visits to hospitals. Physical inactivity costs the NHS £10bn a year, with £2.5bn spent on care as a result of poor housing. Allowing vulnerable people to remain in homes with significant hazards is costing the NHS nearly £414m per year in initial treatment costs alone.

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