Currently 1 in 20 children in the UK are disabled and 99% live at home with, and are supported by, their families. Children under 16 are the fastest growing group of disabled people and currently, more disabled children are surviving infancy. Surveys from the English Housing Survey suggests that families with one or more disabled children make up around 5% of the social housing sector. This is mainly due to one parent having to drop work to make conditions and living easier for their child, which means these families are losing at least 15K a year income.
(Percentage of households with at least one child 0-17 with a limiting long-term illness)
As disabled children grow and develop, their needs change. A bath may be good for a small child but as lifting becomes difficult a shower may be more suitable. There are also independence issues, with most teens and growing children wishing to independently shower, relax and do their own thing away from other eyes or judgements. This means that social landlords will have to make their living spaces more adaptable to the increase in disabled children within the social sector.
How can we deal with these rising challenges? AKW has flexible and long-term solutions for most social housing bathrooms, including our bathroom for life plan, which is about as adaptable as it gets, you can read about that here. Or you can request our Whitepaper all about the Social Housing Disability and Ageing Crisis, for the correct facts, figures and predictions, as well as the solutions to the big 6 challenges!