New calculator reveals the cost of living in a residential care home vs ‘age-proofing’ your current home

• Analysis reveals it’s 65% cheaper to ‘age-proof’ your current home than it is to move into a residential care home
• It’s 28% cheaper to age-proof your home and receive five years’ at-home nursing care than it is to move into a residential nursing home for five years
• The South East ranked the most expensive UK region to move into residential care (whereas Northern Ireland is the cheapest)
• 87% of over-65s want to grow old independently in their own home, according to survey

Population forecasts predict that the number of over 67-year-olds in the UK will grow by over 30% between 2016 and 2041(1), making it more important than ever to ensure we prepare for our needs in old age.

Whether this takes form in downsizing to a retirement village or moving into a residential nursing home, there are several options available. But not all are suited to what the UK’s over-65s actually want – a study conducted on behalf of Mira Showers found that 87% would rather grow old independently in their own home (2). However, some adjustments may be required to adapt our homes for later life.

The survey of 1,000 over-65s also found:
• 75% would most appreciate assisted-living products in the bathroom.
• 73% agree that brands don’t do enough to marry functionality with style, and are put off by overly clinical products
• 70% prioritise style over function when it comes to adapting their homes to be suitable for their needs in later life.
• 1 in 5 admitted the thought of ‘age-proofing’(3) their home with items such as grab rails and mobility aids sent alarm bells ringing regarding costs.

To help the aging population and their relatives find a cost-effective option that works for them, a new calculator has been launched that compares the cost of living in a residential care home(4) versus the approximate cost to prepare their existing home for later life.

When scaling residential nursing care costs over 5 years (and accounting for 3% fee rises in line with inflation), analysis shows it is 28% cheaper on average to receive full-time care at home and benefit from investing in ‘age-proofing’ solutions, no matter where you live in the UK.

Matt Herbert, Senior Market Analyst for Mira Showers said: “This calculator changes the game for the aging population. For many, growing old at home seems like a pipe dream. But in terms of costs, it could actually work out better for them in the long run. This tool puts the choice firmly back into the hands not only of those who want to stay at home, but also those who haven’t been able to get the care home place they wanted.”

Roland Boal, Lead Industrial Designer at Mira Showers said: “Brands across the globe have spent vast amounts of money on research and development to develop products which improve living for those less-abled which is fantastic, but now that the fundamentals of those designs are in place, it’s time we started putting more care and attention into the style of these products. Our research has clearly shown that over 65s in the UK still have an eye for design and a desire to keep their home their haven.”

Readers can discover what options are best suited to their needs and budget by using the Cost of Care calculator