"I am a disabled pensioner and sometimes I use a taxis to take me to various places I want to visit. I travel in my wheelchair in the taxi. I usually use the same taxi firm but last month they could not help me at short notice so I used another firm. When I came to pay my fare it was much dearer than it normally is. When I queried this with the driver, he explained that it was because I was in a wheelchair and that therefore this warranted a surcharge. I paid the fare requested but would like to ask if this happens elsewhere?"
Answer : Legislation has been passed relating to the transport of people in wheelchairs using regulated taxis. The Disability Discrimination Act makes it illegal to impose any additional charges for carrying a person in a wheelchair. Similarly, no additional charges can be made for guide dogs or hearing dogs.
A point worth noting also is that drivers of taxis, which have been made accessible for disabled people are obliged to help them in and out of their taxis and to help with any luggage, etc.
Answer : The Government Crime Reduction Unit provides a leaflet on "Keeping your Home Secure". It gives simple advice on how to reduce the risk of your home being burgled by taking some simple and inexpensive precautions.
The topics include: windows, lighting, burglar alarms, keys, garages and sheds, gates, fences, doors, post coding your belongings, insurance, smoke detectors and a security checklist.
The leaflet can easily be downloaded by going to: http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk
Answer : Our body needs us to drink fluids to avoid dehydration. If you are elderly dehydration is particularly dangerous. The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health identifies dehydration as one of the risk factors for falls of elderly people.
Dehydration can also result in a deterioration of a person's mental state resulting in dizziness and fainting, can cause digestive problems, interfere with a persons body temperature, the elimination of waste products and affect the lubrication required for joints and eyes. As you can see therefore, drinking sufficient water/fluids is vitally important for all people but especially for elderly people.
If your Mother is not convinced after you have advised her of the above information perhaps you could suggest that her local Health Visitor might be able to "settle the argument" by popping in to see her for a few minutes. Arrangements could be made through the local surgery.
Every year in the UK 150,000 people have a stroke. Prompt action immediately after a stroke ensures that medical help is given quickly, possible further damage to the brain is avoided and gives a person a much better chance of a full recovery.
The problem is that most people do not know how to recognise when a person has just had a stroke and therefore the Stroke Association wishes to let as many people know about FAST.
FAST stands for the Face Arm Speech Test, which is used by paramedics to diagnose the fact that a person has had a stroke.
Anyone can use FAST and therefore get help for another person in the shortest time possible.
Arm weakness : Can the person raise both arms?
Speech problems : Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
Test all three symptoms : If the person fails any of these tests you must call 999 and get medical help immediately.