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Technician installing a grab rail

Existing homes

Our aim is for more people in later life to live in housing suited to their needs.

We are working to improve the condition and accessibility of existing housing, ensuring homes are safe, hazard-free and well maintained.

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We are all living longer, but many of the homes that we live in are not suitable for us as we grow older. 

As we age, the likelihood of experiencing some physical impairments or disabilities that make day-to-day life more difficult increases. However, just 7% of housing in England is accessible and 20% of homes occupied by older people in England fail the government’s basic standard of decency. 

Building new and better homes is important, but 80% of the homes we will be living in by 2050 are already built. Making essential home repairs, reducing the hazards that can cause injury and falls, and installing aids and adaptations into people’s homes, such as grab rails and level access showers, can improve the accessibility and usability of a person’s home environment, maintaining or restoring their ability to carry out day-to-day activities safely and comfortably.  

Research has found investment in adaptations to be highly cost-effective, helping to improve wellbeing, keep people out of hospital, prevent or delay moves into residential care, reduce burdens on carers and support social connections.  

We have already had significant impact through our research, highlighting the positive and life-changing impact home adaptations can have. We found strong evidence that minor adaptations improve outcomes and quality of life for those in later life.