Nearly 50 per cent of people want the Government to pay for modifications of potentially up to £30,000 or more to make their parents’ home more accessible according to a new survey.
Researchers polled 2,000 adults aged 40 or over and all the people asked were in contact with at least one parent that lives independently at home.
Commissioned by Stiltz Home Lifts, the study revealed that nearly one in two people – a staggering 977 (48 per cent) of respondents – plan to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help keep their elderly mother or father – or both – living independently at home.
A Disabled Facilities Grant may be provided by the local authority to help adapt the home including allowing for improved access to floors and rooms. In fact, the grant can cover anything that ‘contributes towards living a fulfilling and independent long life as long as it shown to improve quality of life’.
The scheme is not only open to homeowners but for those that live in rented accommodation too as tenants can apply through their landlords. The Disabled Facilities Grant offers a maximum of £30,000 but this figure can be topped up by local authorities for help with other home improvement projects for eligible residents.
A mere 13 per cent (274) of respondents said they had no intention of applying for a disability grant, while 37 per cent (749) said they did not know.
Jim Goodwin from Rugby in Warwickshire, successfully secured a Disabled Facilities Grant from Rugby Borough Council to install a Stiltz home lift in his home for his mother, Betty, 95, who could no longer use the stairs. Jim said: “I contacted the council, they came to the house, looked at Mum’s situation and said we would be eligible for a grant. We were delighted.”
Nearly 20 per cent of those questioned said they planned to make adaptations to their parents’ home within the next three years so their mother or father can continue living in the property – while 16 per cent had already made modifications. Only 2 per cent said they did not plan to make any alterations at all.
The research, carried out by onepoll.com, showed 69 per cent agreed that their parent’s desire for independence was the most important thing to them. Around 13 per cent stated their parents wanted to stay at home but make home modifications to make it more accessible.
However, moving to a care home as they are not able to live independently anymore (1 per cent) or move into the family home (2 per cent) were clearly not desirable options. For 2 per cent of those polled said their parents would like to move to a care home but could not afford it.