The Care Act 2014 has placed a statutory duty on local authorities to provide services that prevent deterioration and minimise the use of other services. Housing adaptations have been identified as one of the top ten prevention services for older adults, with bathing facilities being the most requested. Such adaptations may increase health and wellbeing for older adults and carers. However, many local authorities have lengthy waiting times which may increase costs, reduce effectiveness, and reduce the preventative effect. Furthermore, there is no robust evidence of the effect of these adaptations on: health, wellbeing and functional ability.
This research will test whether it is feasible to conduct a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of bathing adaptations for older adults and their carers. Participants will be randomised to receive immediate adaptations or routine waiting list. Outcomes will be assessed at 3 and 6 months: health and social care related quality of life, functional ability, and use of services. This will allow us to examine the effect of the adaptations and whether waiting times lead to worse outcomes. Qualitative interviews with users and carers will supplement the findings. The ultimate aim of this study is to inform the design of a powered RCT.