Care Questions : Article 29Care Questions : Article 29

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.29

"Although I am in relatively good health I do have arthritis, which means that I am not as agile as I used to be. I live in a house and have moved my bedroom downstairs to make life easier but my bathroom and toilet are upstairs. I do find it difficult to go upstairs and would like to know if there are any grants that I could have to have a downstairs toilet put in. I am a pensioner in my seventies with only a small amount of savings."

Answer : The Disabled Facilities Grant may be available to help you if you are registered as disabled under the terms of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 or under the terms of The National Assistance Act 1948. If your arthritis is significantly disabling then you would be eligible for a grant. The grant is payable if you do not have access to the basic amenities within your home and that you are eligible on income grounds. So if access to your bathroom and toilet is causing you significant problems then a grant could cover the work involved in the provision of suitable bathroom/toilet facilities.

Further details can be obtained from the Housing Department. of your local authority.

"My aunt has been living in a residential care home for the last two years. She has recently become a little incontinent and has required continence pads. I noticed on my last monthly bill for her care that I have been charged for these pads. Should she have to pay for them, I thought they were free in care homes?"

Answer : If you live in a care home and have been assessed by a health professional as requiring continence pads then you should not be asked to pay for them. This applies if you are paying for your own care or having your care supported by social services.

For further details you could contact the Continence Foundation which has a help line 0845 345 0165 local rate call cost.

"I would like to take my disabled granddaughter to London and would like to know if the London Eye is suitable for disabled people?"

Answer : The London Eye has full disabled access both on to the Eye and to all the facilities inside County Hall, e.g. toilets, Costa Coffee. Also, the London Eye River Trip Experience has full disabled access.

There is a special disabled booking line 0870 990 8885. If you book on this number you will receive a special discount of £2.50 off the price for a trip on the Eye and £2.00 off the adult price for the Eye River Cruise Experience.

All fare paying, disabled guests are entitled to bring a carer free of charge on both the London Eye and the London Eye River Cruise experience.

If a disability makes queuing difficult you may be able to use the fast track service. Please advise at the time of booking.

If you have a visual impairment seeing-eye dogs are welcome on the London Eye.

"I have a disability and I understand that if I purchase any equipment designed to help me with my disability that I do not have to pay VAT on the item. Is this correct?"

Answer : Yes if the supplier of the equipment is registered for VAT. Yes if you sign a from declaring that you have a disability or a chronic illness.

You are also exempt from paying VAT on the cost of servicing or maintaining any disability equipment.

To obtain full details about VAT exemption get a copy of the leaflet VAT Reliefs for People with Disabilities. Just give a call to your local VAT office which is listed in your local telephone directory.


Much has been spoken and written in recent weeks about vaccine for flu, both the normal flu virus vaccine and Bird flu vaccine. It is not therefore surprising that some confusion is arising about who can have what and what is actually going to be available, etc.

In recent weeks there has been a case of an elderly person, approached via a telephone call, and offered a flu jab in his own home for the sum of £20.00. This caller was a bogus caller.

Only in exceptional circumstances will a flu jab be given to a person in their home and in such circumstances it will be the District Nurse who will administer it. People over the age of 65 years and others entitled to a flu jab on health grounds are not charged, the service is free.

If you receive such a call offering you a flu jab of any sort in your own home and payment is requested, please contact your local police.

Further to our announcement last month we would like to give you the telephone number of Mandy Gülatar, the new Business and Compliance Manager for Able Community Care in the South West of England and South Wales: Mandy Gülatar, 01752 829210.