Enabling older people to stay at home: The costs of substituting and supplementing care with assistive technology
Goodacre, K., McCreadie, C., Flanagan, S. and Lansley, P. (2008) Enabling older people to stay at home: The costs of substituting and supplementing care with assistive technology. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71 (4). pp. 130-140. ISSN 0308-0226
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A wide-ranging multiprofessional research project explored issues relating to the introduction of assistive technology into the existing homes of older people in order to provide them with the opportunity to remain at home. The financial relationship between assistive technology and packages of formal care was also explored. The costs of residential care and those of a number of packages containing differing quantities of assistive technology, formal care and informal care were compared. The analyses provide a strong financial case for substituting and/or supplementing formal care with assistive technology, even for individuals with quite disabling conditions. Although needs and hence the cost of provision rise with an increasing level of disability, the savings in care costs accrue quickly. The consideration of a variety of users with different needs and informal care provision, and occupying a very wide range of housing, leads to the conclusion that in comparison with traditional care packages, at worst, incorporating significant amounts of assistive technology into care packages is cost neutral, but that with careful specification of assistive technology major savings are feasible.