Anxiety surrounding finding trustworthy tradespeople is leaving older people across the country struggling with home repairs. New research released by TrustMark, the government endorsed find-a-tradesperson scheme, has revealed that almost a quarter (23%) of 65+ year olds don’t know where to find information and are not confident when it comes to choosing a tradesman to carry out work in their homes. As a result one in five older people are leaving household jobs and repairs or attempting to carry out work themselves.
Those that are choosing tradespeople are placing themselves at the risk of rogues by not checking they have the right skills. Only two per cent 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 tackle this issue, TrustMark has teamed up with the 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.
The new tool from TrustMark and Age UK gives 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.
Liz Male, chairman of TrustMark, said:
“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. Most older people are confident and well-equipped to deal with these situations. But if we know of 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.
“TrustMark’s work with Age UK is driven by shared values around consumer protection. We are working together to encourage people in later life to undertake necessary work in their homes with confidence, armed with the right questions to ask and safe in the knowledge that they have the best of the nation’s trades men and women working in their homes.”
John Edwards, head of service delivery at Age UK, said:
“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. Our work with TrustMark means we are able to offer an important resource for older homeowners looking for expert and trusted tradespeople.”