Care Questions : Article 10Care Questions : Article 10

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.10

"I have been told that I can exchange my old fridge for a new one at a much cheaper cost than I can buy it for in the shops. Is this true?

Answer : There is a scheme run by Powergen in association with Currys which will help people in receipt of specific benefits e.g. Disability Living Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, etc. to replace their fridge or fridge freezer. However, you must have either a fridge or a fridge freezer that is damaged or faulty and because of that is using an excess of electricity.

Like for like is the theme, so a fridge will be replaced by a fridge and a fridge freezer for a fridge freezer. The cost is currently £50 for a fridge and £75.00 for a fridge freezer and as the appliances are energy efficient this should result in reduced electricity bills.

Your old appliance must be disabled when your new appliance arrives and Currys can, for a small fee, dispose of your old one in an environmentally responsible manner.

You do not have to be a customer of Powergen to take advantage of this offer.

The Scheme is run in conjunction with County Councils so contact your local office if you think you may be eligible.

"I find that I am becoming increasingly hard of hearing and sometimes do not hear the doorbell ring. Do you know of any equipment that I can purchase to overcome this problem and any other suggestions that may help with other daily activities?

Answer : For people who are hard of hearing there are many devices that are available to help. With your problem with the doorbell you can purchase a device that alerts you to a caller at the door by means of a flashing light when the bell rings.

Instead of having a smoke alarm that emits a sound, you can have an alarm that flashes instead. Similarly, you can have an alarm clock that flashes instead of ringing.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (tel. 020 7296 8000 or visit: have a wealth of information about aids and devices which can help make daily living easier for those who have hearing difficulties.

"I was born in 1919 and was adopted in 1920. I now think I would like to find out anything I can about my Mother and possibly Father. I realise that they will have died some time ago, but is it possible for me to find information about them and perhaps other family they may have had?

Answer : Although you were "adopted" in 1920, adoption as we know it did not come into being until 1926 when adoption became a legal action.

Prior to that date many people were taken on to act as parents but this was more informal than under the adoption methods we use today. Many of these arranged adoptions were organised through the church and the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army had an Adoption Board and an Adoption Department and records were kept of the child and the new parent.

It may be possible that you were adopted by this route and you can contact The Social Services Historian at the Salvation Army International Heritage Centre for further information. Tel. 020 7737 3327.

If this is not the case then you need to begin by looking at your birth certificate and starting the search with your Mother's name at the time. If you do not have a birth certificate or you wish to get a copy, or even a copy of your Mothers certificate of birth or marriage, etc. then contact the Family Records Centre who can help people with information in tracing their family tree.

The Family Records Centre is based at 1 Myddelton Street, London. EC1R 1UW. For birth, marriage and death certificate enquiries call 0870 243 7788

"If I buy any goods that are second hand from a trader what consumer rights do I have?

Answer : When you buy second hand from a trader you enter into a contract which is controlled under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, amended last in 2002. This law gives you certain implied or automatic rights under this contract. However, when you are buying second hand goods you have to take into account the price you are paying for goods which have already been owned by another person or company. For example your expectations of a ten year old car in relation to faults and performance would not be the same as if you were buying a brand new vehicle.

That said however, you do have rights under the Sale of Goods Act for second hand purchases and if you do have a problem contact your local Trading Standards Institute (number in your local telephone Book) for advice and guidance.