Care costs are slashed by more than a third and health benefits soar as a result of successfully combining health, social care and housing services for older people, a ground-breaking, three-year study has revealed.
The independent research was commissioned by the ExtraCare Charitable Trust, which provides homes for more than 4,400 older people in retirement villages and smaller housing developments.
It highlights, for the first time, the benefits of allowing older people to remain independent, while living in a retirement community with on-site support services and strong links into the wider neighbourhood.
The Aston University research studied 195 ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents and non ExtraCare residents at locations across the North and Midlands.
Key findings of the research included:
- NHS costs for ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents were cut by 38 per cent over 12 months compared with their costs when they first moved in.
- ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents experienced a significant reduction in the duration of unplanned hospital stays from 8-14 days to 1-2 days.
- Routine GP appointments for ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents fell 46 per cent after a year.
- Numbers of people with clinical levels of depression fell by 64.3 per cent over 18 months.
- Measures of depression symptoms were reduced by 14.8 per cent after 18 months for new ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents and those with low mobility showed the greatest improvement in this ‘mood measure’.
- The cost of providing higher-level social care was £4,556 less (26 per cent less) per person per year than providing the same level of care in the local community.
- In-depth, ‘autobiographical’ memory improved by 10.1 per cent for ExtraCare Charitable Trust residents after 18 months.