The research, recently published in the Journal of Housing for the Elderly, suggests that as well as home modifications, home ownership, socio-economic resources and neighbourhood satisfaction are the main factors to keep people in their homes.
With Australia’s growing ageing population and recent changes to home care packages, more older Australians are choosing to stay at home longer, often requiring home modifications to do so.
Managing Director of Bendtech, Tim Shalders, says that his company has certainly seen an increase in demand and recognises the importance of home modifications in keeping older Australians within their homes and communities longer.
“We are Australia’s only stainless steel tube producer and manufacturer of grab rails and hand rails, which are all very common components for those looking at home care,” he says.
“People are being encouraged to stay at home longer and through Occupational Therapist Assessment, many older Australians or their carers are coming to us to supply the home care modifications.”
As well as stocking standard hand and grab rails, as a manufacturer, Bendtech are making and supplying a number of custom rails for older Australians looking to live at home longer.
“A lot of the older homes can’t just take a standard rail which means more people require our custom option,” Mr Shalders says.
“These are a ‘retro fit’ and because of the style of wall or stud size, we need to make them as a custom order so that they suit the home, the person, and provide a safe support.
“With the current trend of staying at home longer we have definitely seen a rise in the need for custom rails – trying to fit standard rails in older homes is almost impossible which is why we make them to suit.”
The rails, which are commonly added to toilets, showers and walkways within homes, are important for those with mobility issues.
“The addition of these rails are very important from a mobility point-of-view,” Mr Shalders says.
“Some people in the aged care or disability groups need to be able to have a carer with them in the shower which means they need a shower seat on the wall and hand rails all around, or they need the rails and a back rest in the toilet to help them get up and down safely and independently.
“Most of the older people who come to us have had an assessment and require these additions to remain living at home.
“We have a massive range for all different home care needs and if there is anything that isn’t standard that is needed, as the only Australian manufacturer, we are able to custom make to suit what our customers want and need.”
As well as providing the product, Bendtech also offer anti-slip finishes on their grip rails that allow those with a weaker grip, like elderly women, a slip resistant surface on the grab rails, and bacteria-resistant seal flange options.
“We have a lot of choice in our range and a lot of people don’t know what is available, so if anyone wants to know what we have and what they need, feel free to give us a call and have a chat about your needs and our range,” Mr Shalders says.