Support for scheme which helps older people live independently at home for longer

Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights Alex Neil today lent his support to the pilot Help to Adapt scheme.

The pilot Scottish Government initiative, managed by Link Group Ltd, encourages homeowners, aged 60 or over, to be proactive in adapting their homes to enable their long term independence and quality of life. Uniquely, it helps owners pay for the adaptations, by using the equity in their own home, with the Help to Adapt team organising all the work for them.

Mr Neil visited Mrs Nanette Mathew (in photo above), one of the first people to benefit from the initiative at her home to find out more about her experience and to see the results – a new and accessible bathroom installed with the help of the scheme.

Helping people live independently

Mr Neil said: “We know that living in the right home with suitable physical features is clearly an important part of enabling older people to live independently, and that the right support can be the key to enabling people to live safely at home for longer.

“I’ve been delighted to see today how the Help to Adapt scheme is helping Nanette, and others like her, to stay in her home. Not only is this scheme encouraging homeowners to think about where they want to be in the future, but it is helping safeguard those wishes too.”

Mrs Mathew added: "The scheme is a brilliant idea for people who want to plan ahead - I was struggling stepping out of my bath. I was not bad enough to get anything through the Social Work department but this has let me choose what I wanted to do and when."

Brand new approach and shared learning

Craig Sanderson, Link Group Chief Executive said: “Link is engaged in many activities which aim to support older and disabled people to remain active, healthy and independent in their own homes and communities. 

Help to Adapt is helping home owners to consider their future needs at an early stage, to plan to stay in control and have choice about how and when they adapt their home. We are pleased to be working in partnership with individuals and with Scottish Government to test and develop this brand new approach to enabling older home owners to adapt their home”.

Help to Adapt also hosted its first Shared Learning Event at the Inchyra Grange Hotel attracting over 70 guests including Help to Adapt clients, representatives from local authority pilot areas and associated organisations.

The event included presentations on the learning and progress made so far, highlighting the level of support provided to home owners as part of the initiative. Guests gave feedback on the design of the scheme, how it is working in their area, potential marketing opportunities and their suggestions for future shared learning events.