Care Questions : Article 35Care Questions : Article 35

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.35

"I have recently retired and I would like to take a holiday with my son who is partially sighted. Are there any holiday companies that combine trips for those who can see and those who are blind or have poor sight?"

Answer : Traveleyes is a travel company, which may be of interest to you. It provides holidays for both sighted and poor sighted/blind people travelling together. Holidays can be based in countries around the Mediterranean and the company hopes to provide trips to South Africa early next year. If you visit their website at: you can register for free and be kept up to date with new destinations/offers etc. If you prefer to telephone the number is 08709 220221.

"I am a retired, disabled person living abroad and I wish to return to the UK. Although, I hope to buy a suitable property in the long term, for the first few months I would like to rent some appropriate accommodation to enable me to have a base as I look around for a permanent home. Can you suggest how I might look for property for rent for a disabled person?"

Answer : Mobility Friendly Homes, is a free, internet based service that has been designed and dedicated to the selling, letting and purchasing of properties that are accessible and/or suitably adapted for the needs of disabled people. Although at the present time the site does not have a large number of properties it is growing and may be able to help you.

"My husband and I have recently retired to Devon and enjoy social activities such as going out to a restaurant or pub, either by ourselves or with friends. I am wheelchair dependent and therefore need to go to restaurants and pubs that are wheelchair friendly and also have toilets that are accessible. Is there any guide that you are aware of that can provide such information?

Answer : To find venues that are accessible and disabled friendly go to: This will give you a list of disabled friendly restaurants, public houses, snack bars, etc that you may like to visit. In addition to the location it gives the telephone number so that you can check exactly what facilities they have before you get there.

"I live away from my Mother but manage to visit her about once every two months. She lives in a block of council flats and I notice that when I visit there always seems to be things belonging to other tenants on the landings. e.g. bicycles, large children's toys, etc. Although mobile, my Mother is in her seventies and I feel they are a hazard that should not be there. What is the position, can I genuinely complain?"

Answer : Communal areas such as landings and stairs must be kept clear Items should not be left or stored outside of any of the flats unless they are a disabled vehicle for which permission has been applied for and been given to park the vehicle there.

Cleaning of staircases, hallways and landings are usually carried out by either the caretaker of the flats or a contractor, either of which should make sure that communal areas are clear. Contact your Mother's local council and ask for the name of the contractor/caretaker and discuss the situation with them. If you are not happy about their response go directly to the local council housing department with your concerns.

"My Mother lives in a house and, although the family thinks it would be safer for her, refuses to sleep downstairs. Her stairs are quite steep and we are worried about her falling. How can we make them as safe as possible."

Answer : The most serious accidents involving older people happen on the stairs and the percentage gets higher the older people get. If you cannot persuade your Mother to move her bedroom downstairs there are some safety tips that you can apply to make her using the stairs safer: