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Fear of the Unknown

Home repairs are being left undone by the over 65s because of fear of finding ‘good tradespeople’.

The anxiety surrounding finding trustworthy tradespeople is leaving older people across the country ‘struggling’ with home repairs.

The findings come in new research released by TrustMark, the government endorsed scheme. It has revealed that almost a quarter (23%) of 65 plus year olds do not know where to find information and are not confident when it comes to choosing a tradesperson to carry out work in their homes. As a result, 20% of older people are leaving household jobs and repairs or attempting to carry out work themselves.

TrustMark argues that those who are choosing tradespeople are placing themselves at the risk of ‘rogues’ by not checking they have the right skills. Only 2% of the older people questioned said that they based their selection of a tradesperson on whether or not they had the right qualifications for the job.

To try and tackle this issue, TrustMark has teamed up with the country’s leading charity for older people, Age UK, to provide a resource for those looking for quality tradespeople. Giving older people the confidence to find tradespeople from all over the UK, the new TrustMark directory now sits on Age UK’s website to help older people and their families choose from a selection of vetted traders in their area.

“Age UK provides advice on anything to do with getting older and information to help ensure older people make informed choices and get the support they need,” said John Edwards, Head of Service Delivery, Age UK. “Our work with TrustMark means we are able to offer an important resource for older homeowners looking for expert and trusted tradespeople.”

The new tool from TrustMark and Age UK has been designed to give older people the assurance that they are hiring people who have passed the most stringent business and customer service checks, but have also had previous work checked onsite by qualified inspectors.

“Frankly, I feel it’s a national embarrassment that any older person is put in this position, with fear and confusion about who they can let into their homes to do even the simplest of property repairs or home improvement projects,” explained Liz Male, Chair, TrustMark. “Most older people are confident and well equipped to deal with these situations.”

Ms Male went on to argue that if there is a relative, friend or neighbour who does not have a network of reputable local tradespeople they can call upon, “if we know that they’re struggling to get work done, we have a responsibility to signpost them to an independent and safe source of advice and assistance”.

Caption    Liz Male, Chair, TrustMark (third right) – “a national embarrassment” for older people to fear finding a reliable tradesperson in the UK.

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