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NHS costs cut by a THIRD in ExtraCare retirement communities!

It’s time for funders and policymakers to get behind this model which has become so popular with older people and is delivered at a cost that is affordable for the individual and society.

Ground-breaking studies (2012-15 & 2015-18) revealed that care costs have been cut by more than a third and health benefits continue to soar by successfully combining health, social care and housing services for older people.

The independent research was commissioned by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, which provides homes for more than 4,400 people over the age of 55 in 20 retirement villages and smaller housing developments.

It highlighted 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 residents and non ExtraCare residents.

Integrated Homes, Care and Support
Key findings included:
  • NHS costs for the Charity’s residents were cut by 38% over a year compared with their costs when they first moved in.
  • ExtraCare residents experienced a significant reduction in the duration of unplanned hospital stays from 8-14 days to 1-2 days.
  • Routine GP appointments for The ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s residents fell 46% after 12 months.
  • Numbers of people with clinical levels of depression fell by 64.3% over 18 months.
  • Measures of depression symptoms were reduced by 14.8% after 18 months for new ExtraCare residents. Those with low mobility showed the greatest improvement in this ‘mood measure’.
  • Providing higher-level social care cost £4,556 less (26% less) per person per year than providing the same level of care in the local community.
  • In-depth, ‘autobiographical’ memory improved by 10.1% for the Charity’s residents after 18 months.

Residents are offered health and well-being support, and care is provided where it is needed. ExtraCare’s award-winning Well-being Service supports residents to be proactive in managing their own health. Well-being assessments typically cover a range of tests and common conditions, including blood pressure, cholesterol level, urine, diet, fitness, sleep, diabetes and osteoporosis. The three-year study was led by Dr Carol Holland, director of Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA), at Aston University in Birmingham Dr Holland said:

The evidence has shown benefits for the full range of older residents, from active healthy people with few health issues through to the very frail. It is an important stepping-stone to a better understanding of how best health, social care and housing professionals can work together to help people enjoy happier and healthier lives in later years, and an improved quality of life for people at whatever stage they find themselves.