Care Questions : Article 47Care Questions : Article 47

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.47

"I have no relatives and when I die I would like to leave my body to medical science. Can you still do this and if you can, how do I go about making arrangements?"

Answer : The number of people donating their whole bodies to medical science over the last five years has decreased. Five years ago it was 670 people. In 2006 it had fallen to 600 persons who had made such an arrangement. However, the number of medical schools has increased so there is an increasing need for body donations.

If you wish to be a potential donor or would like further information you can write to: Human Tissue Authority, Finlaison House, 15-17 Furnival St, London EC4A

They will give you information and guidance to help you through with the process and, should you change your mind, there is provision for you to withdraw your consent at any time.

"I live abroad and my Mother, who is now in her eighties, has decided provisionally, to move into a residential home. Provisionally, because she says that she will only move into a home when her beloved dog, George has died.

George is robust whereas my Mother is getting frail. Are there any residential homes that will accept both new resident and pet?"

Answer : The short answer is yes. The Cinnamon Trust is the national charity for elderly people and their pets. They have a Register of Pet Friendly Care Homes, both residential and nursing, who will accept both person and pet.

If a person goes into one of these homes, the Trust would also care for the pet should the owner pre-decease their pet.

To contact them for further details telephone 01736 757010.

"I am a widow and a pensioner. I have read several times in the newspapers that thousands of pensioners are not claiming the benefits to which they are entitled. I have been a housewife since my marriage and only have my old age pension and a small pension from a company that my husband worked at for some years. I find it difficult to manage at times, especially during the winter when my bills are higher and at Christmas time. How can I find out if I am entitled to any financial help?"

Answer : Please give your local Age Concern office a call. They will be happy to give you advice and assistance. If necessary they can help you fill in any forms, and if you are unable to actually get to their office, they may visit you at home. Look in your local telephone directory for their number.

"I believe that a local, elderly, slightly confused, neighbour of mine is being used by a lady he is friendly with. She came into his life about nine months ago. He has told me he has lent her money, paid for various things for her home and bought her expensive presents and clothes. He is delighted with her company and will not hear a word against her. I have known him for a very long time and I am extremely worried about him and the influence this lady is having on him. He has no close relatives and I feel I should do something."

Answer : The situation described suggest that your long time friend is being abused by this lady. It is not a situation you can sort out so you need to make your concerns clear to people who will have your friend's best interests at heart and have the authority, if necessary, to make sure he is protected from any abuse.

You should telephone his local Social Services office and ask for the Adult Protection Team. They will listen to your concerns and take appropriate action to investigate and protect him.