The real cost of the lack of disabled-friendly homes
Stacie and May are in our briefing, The real cost of the lack of disabled-friendly homes. It looks at the impact that unsuitable housing has on our health and care services across the UK. In January 2015 we found that:
- in the previous month, 15,000 hours of GP time had been taken up with disabled or older people due to injuries, illness or other health problems experienced because of their inaccessible home
- of the GPs we surveyed, some had more than 20 appointments for health problems caused by inaccessible homes in the previous month
- one third (35%) of Leonard Cheshire Disability residential service managers say that there is at least one person living in their care service who would like to live more independently, but is unable to do so because there is nowhere accessible for them to live
Stacie’s Home Truth
‘May is a wonderful little girl but as you can imagine, life can be difficult. I need to rest up and build up my strength to fight this illness. Unfortunately, our home just makes things worse.
‘We live in a privately rented first floor flat. At the moment, I’m too weak to carry my daughter upstairs. The severity of her disabilities mean she cannot walk or even throw an arm around the person carrying her - and it definitely isn’t going to get any easier. She’s only five. She’s a growing girl.
‘We have been on the housing list for about two years now. Even with the combination of my cancer and my daughter’s disabilities we have not even been placed in the top band and will probably be waiting for years.
‘All the while, my health is suffering as I struggle to make our home work for us. I’m really worried that the stress and exhaustion is making it harder to fight the cancer — having a home that we could move around easily would be such a weight off my mind, and so much better for me and my daughter.’