Care Questions : Article 22Care Questions : Article 22

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.22

"I am in my late fifties and would like to have a part time job. Can you tell me anything about the Government scheme for people of my age who are seeking work?"

Answer : I assume you are referring to the job-seeking scheme New Deal: 50 plus. This initiative is for people who are age over 50 and who want to work. You may be having difficulty finding work, or working for very low pay in which case you are eligible for some advice and help.

There are eligibility criteria that apply which are:

If you join the program an action plan will be drawn up to assist you in finding work and you will receive help to get you a suitable job. You will receive help with writing your c.v. and any letters that you may need to write. Training opportunities will be identified and you will receive help and support throughout the program.

To speak to someone about New Deal 50 plus, call into your local Job Centre and ask to speak to a New Deal Personal Advisor.

"My Mother, who is unsteady on her feet, lives a distance out of her village and she frequently misses the refuse lorry as she feels, that at times, she is not able to safely take her bin to the road. There are no near neighbours to help her put the bin out and I do not live near enough to her to be able to commit to doing this job regularly. As a pensioner does she qualify for help?"

Answer : Being a pensioner does not qualify you for help with your wheelie bin but if you are frail elderly or disabled then assistance should be available. It could be that you are unable to pull a bin or there may be steps to negotiate for example. Many Local Authorities maintain a register of those persons requesting assistance and the Refuse Collectors give additional help to those entered on the register, e.g. collecting and returning the bin to it normal place of storage. Contact your Mother's local Council Waste Department to register.

"I am a pensioner who is wheelchair dependent. I have a Carer for some hours a week and I have been told that some cinema's admit a Carer free if a person is in a wheelchair. Do you know anything about this?"

Answer : The cinema chain that I am aware of that provides free admission for Carers is the Odeon chain. They have a policy that Carers of customers with any disability are entitled to a free ticket at every Odeon cinema. This offer has been in operation since January 2005

The person who is registered as disabled has to obtain a Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) card.

You can get an application form from any Odeon cinema across the UK:

The card is valid for three years from the date of issue. Qualification for the card is meeting one or more of the following:

"I come from a family that is scattered throughout the UK. I am not in contact with any of my relations. I think however, that I may have been left some money/shares in a will some time back. How can I begin to search to see if I am correct?"

Answer : It is estimated that there may be as much as £15billion pounds of money lying unclaimed in the UK from varying sources. There are two companies, which will try to help you find if any of that money is yours.

The Unclaimed Assets Register and Funds Reunited are on the Internet and their sites are: and

"My elderly Mother is able to dress herself but is finding fastening the buttons on her clothing increasingly difficult to manage. Do you know where I can get a button hook or similar to help her?"

Answer : One place I am aware of that sells a Button Hook is Boots. It works by passing through the button hole and gripping the thread on the button. A simple "pull through" and a "twist" and the button is fastened. The cost is £7.50 and can be ordered off their web site: or place an order in your local store.