Care Questions : Article 50Care Questions : Article 50

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.50

"I an eighty years of age and have been sleeping all my life on a feather mattress which really does need to be replaced. Any idea where I can get one?"

Answer : You could give your local bed companies a call to see if they have a local supplier but if you draw a blank there is a company called Zed GB Ltd which have several models. You can telephone them on 01229 465888 or write to them at PO Box 98, Barrow in Furness LA16 7GA. If you have access to the internet take a look at their products at

"I live some distance from my elderly father and I feel that sheltered housing from his council would be a practical and safe option. What are the eligibility criteria for getting one?"

Answer : Each council has its own criteria so you would need to contact your father's council for theirs. However, the following criteria are fairly standard throughout many councils for sheltered accommodation:

"My sister, with whom I live, has fallen a couple of times at home. She is in her seventies but in good health otherwise. Can you offer some general advice in order that I can help her from possibly falling again?"

Answer : A person is more at risk of falling if they have fallen before, had a stroke or have Parkinson's Disease, take four or more medicines and have a problem with balance for example when walking,or getting up from a dining chair without using their arms. As your sister falls into at least one of these categories the best advice I can give you is to contact either her GP or the District Nurse at your surgery. They will assess her situation and suggest help and give advice to reduce the risk of your sister falling again. The Department of Health advises that 50% of falls are preventable, so ring your surgery as soon as possible.

"I would like to travel to the Costa del Sol with a friend for a fortnight's holiday. She is fit and well but I am disabled in that I use a wheelchair, zimmer and a toilet frame. I am happy to travel with my wheelchair but do not want to take the other items on the journey. Is it possible to hire such items in Spain?"

Answer : It is possible to hire equipment in Spain and in the area you are visiting. A company called Home Ability Spain hire a large range of disability products including the ones you mention and other aids such as hoists and wheelchairs.

They have a UK number you can call for further information and to arrange hire: 01908 679699.

"I am diabetic and I live with my elderly, dependent Mother. Although my condition is well managed I do worry what would happen to my Mother if I was out and had an accident, or was mugged and became unconscious and my handbag was stolen.

I have heard that there is a jewellery firm that sells bracelets, pendants and watches that can have medical and personnel information contained in them in order that any emergency service can retrieve the information quickly and act on it. This would cover my illness and my mother's situation should a problem occur. However, I cannot find anything about the jewellery company. Do you know about them?"

Answer : The company you may be thinking of is not necessarily known as a jewellery company, hence your problem in locating them. I think you may mean the company SOS Talisman which provide bracelets, pendants, etc. in which a small capsule contains vital details of your medical condition and personal responsibilities if you have them.

Quite simply you buy the item and then make sure you wear it. The company sells the SOS Talisman on the internet at and the full range of items to wear are shown on the site. As an example, a silver bracelet will cost approx. £76, a stainless steel bracelet approx. £29 and a silver pendant approx. £57.