Care Questions : Article 16Care Questions : Article 16

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.16

"When I was a little girl our indispensable, winter item of clothing was a liberty bodice. I have a Mother who is very frail and feels the cold, especially in the winter, and I thought that a liberty bodice, if they are still available, would be just the thing to keep her warm. Can you help?"

Answer : Yes , I recently came across a company that still sells Liberty Bodices for adults. The price is around £30.00 per bodice and you can contact the company at: Woods, Unit 11, Northgate, White Lund Industrial Estate, Morecambe. Tel. 01524 840084 Fax 01524 840501.

"I am young at heart, a wheelchair user and I would like to consider going with my husband on a cruising holiday. Are there cruising companies which can accommodate my situation?"

Answer : Cruising is an ideal holiday for people who have poor mobility and for people who are wheelchair users. It means that you can see a variety of places without having to continually repack your case and check in.

It is possible to find cruise ships with adapted cabins, toilet facilities, facilities for guide dogs panic buttons, and other helpful aids and equipment.

The association PSARA ( Passengers Shipping Association Agents Scheme) have staff trained to know about cruising and disability. Look in your travel agents windows for their sticker.

Cruise companies such as: Crystal Cruises, Princess Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean International, Fred Olsen and P&O are among the companies who have disabled facilities.

They only allocate a small number of cabins for people with disabilities compared with the overall number of cabins available. It is likely therefore that you will have to book some time in advance. So start planning for next year!

"I am retired and solvent. However, recently I have been refused credit for an item I wished to purchase. The retailer would give me no explanation but suggested I check my credit rating. How do I go about this?"

Answer : If you would like to see your credit rating i.e. the information that is held on file about you with reference to financial matters then you can obtain your personal report by writing to one of the three credit reference agencies in the UK.

Unfortunately, the reports from each company may differ so to get a true picture you may wish to contact all three.

Your credit rating information will not have any reference to your medical history, your employment, criminal record, political persuasion, religion or race. What the report will also tell you however is who has looked at your personal credit rating in the last two years.

The three companies from whom you can obtain your information are:

  1. Consumer Services Team, Callcredit plc, PO Box 491,Leeds. L53 1WZ

  2. Equifax Credit File Advice Centre P.O. Box 1140 Bradford BD1 5US

  3. CHS Experian PO Box 8000 Nottingham, NG80 7WF.

"Last week I had two men call on me to tell me that my roof needed repairing and that they could carry out the work next day, was I interested? I declined their offer but I do feel that they were right and I should carry out some repairs to parts of my roof. However, I have read of "cowboy roofers" and I would like to know how to make sure I get a reputable professional. What advice can you give me?"

Answer : Your first port of call is to contact The Confederation of Roofing Contractors, telephone 01206 306600 who will give you free advice.

Upon deciding to have your roof repaired get three written estimates for comparison. Make sure that these contractors carry Public Liability Insurance and ask to see a copy of their insurance certificate. It is illegal for them to work on your home without proper insurance cover. Finally, refuse all requests to pay them in cash.

"My neighbour is becoming increasingly confused. Some years ago she appointed a relative with an Enduring Power of Attorney over her affairs. He has been to see her much more often recently and from conversations with my neighbour I am worried that he may be taking advantage of her confused situation for his own benefit e.g. financial loan and gifts. I feel in a difficult situation, what should I do?"

Answer : You are concerned that your neighbour's relative is not acting in your neighbour's best interest and his/her financial situation may be being abused. If you genuinely believe that this is the case then the suspected abuse should be reported to the Police. If you are aware that the Enduring Power of Attorney is registered with The Public Guardianship Office then you could go directly to them with your suspicions.

Telephone EPA Helpline: 020 7664 7327 or 0845 330 2963 (UK only) or write to EPA Team, Public Guardianship Office, Archway Tower, Junction Rd, London N19 5SZ