Are you missing out on equipment in the home?
The Charity Arthritis Research UK says as many as 8 in 10 people eligible for support may be missing out on life-changing equipment, such as grab rails, raised toilet seats or non-slip shower mats.
Aids and adaptations in the house play a vital role in helping people with arthritis and related conditions lead a more independent lives and reduce the risk of them needing more formal care or even A&E services. Almost everyone with arthritis that the charity surveyed (95%) who currently uses aids and adaptations, said they improved their quality of life. However, almost a fifth of those eligible are not using aids or adaptations at all.
Although local authorities have a duty to make aids and adaptions available, more than of half of survey respondents with arthritis and eligible support are buying equipment themselves, missing out on their entitlement. The average cost of aid in the charity’s study was £200.
The report argues that too many people are unaware of their rights because councils are not providing adequate information. Of survey respondents who are eligible, but not currently using aids and adaptions, over 85% were unaware their local authority has a duty to provide this type of equipment. While a third of people sought information, only 1 in 10 surveyed said their local authority was their main source of advice, despite councils’ duty to make information accessible.
Arthritis Research UK is calling all local authorities to ensure people with arthritis and related conditions are assessed and, if eligible given aids and minor adaptations free of charge.
Morgan Vine, Campaigns Manager at Arthritis Research UK, said, “Aids and adaptations are at the front line in of UK’s social care system. It’s not fair that of the 17.8m people with arthritis and related conditions, so few are aware that this support is out there and even fewer have been assessed and provided with equipment they need and should be getting for free. Adapting someones bathroom so that they can get up from a toilet can lead to fewer slips and falls, potentially avoiding emergency care.”