In considering Intelligent Homes for our final RAEng Ingenious grant-funded event, we plan to explore how to improve the quality of life, independent living arrangements, provisions and support for older people within the context of an ageing population.
Benefits for elderly and infirm people is that they can live safely in their own home, enjoy better quality of life with lower healthcare costs compared to residential care or hospitals.
According to Dr Zoe Irving at the University of Sheffield (emails dated 13th May 2014), the whole social care sector is seen as the “Cinderella” in policy making and evidenced by lack of investment, reliance on informal provision, low political priority and so on. She adds that the irony has always been that preventative measures and a focus on chronic problems could be far more efficient and effective than the current focus on the acute problems that result.
Surprisingly in the current economic climate, the BBC highlights the Age Concern report that falls costs the UK £5 million per day, that is £1,825,000,000 (£2 billion) p.a with injuries from falls often leading to poor quality of life, difficulty in living at home and morbidity, i.e., increased rate of illness and ill health.
When considering the benefits of elderly people being in their own home it is clear that they experience better quality of life with lower healthcare costs as compared to living in residential care or hospitals.