Care Questions : Article 52Care Questions : Article 52

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.52

"In order to keep myself as safe and as independent possible in my own home I have been given and purchased several pieces of equipment and smaller domestic aids. On many occasions I have been given professional advice or have taken advice from friends and family.

However, no one I have spoken to has heard of a bedside mat that might save me from a broken bone should I fall out of bed or stumble when I get up in the morning, have you?"

Answer : A few weeks ago one of our members of staff went to an exhibition of care products and brought back information on FallSmart Bedside Mats which you may find of interest.

The company's advertising material says that their mats can help prevent injuries, when for example a person falls out of bed. The details given about the construction of the mat and the specifications are quite comprehensive. You can get information about their products by contacting Win Health Ltd., Brockhirst, Oxnam Rd, and Jedburgh. TD8 6QN. Telephone 01835 864866 or visit their website at

The price per mat is £150.00 plus vat.

"I receive Disability Living Allowance and my neighbour receives Income Support. We are both pensioners but when she travels to the hospital for treatment she applies and receives help with the cost of her travel. Can I, as I receive a benefit, also claim for my travelling costs?"

Answer : No, the Disability Living Allowance is a non income based benefit. People from all financial backgrounds can be in receipt of this. Income Support is a benefit which is financially means tested.

"What is a Community Matron and why have they been introduced?"

Answer : In the UK there are over 17 million people living with one or more long term health conditions. The majority of these people are over the age of 65 years. In order to try to care for and manage these conditions in a better way for the patients, Community Matrons have been introduced.

They work in a community and home setting and support people who for example, are trying to self manage their care. They are on hand to assist with end of life care and are active in promoting health and prevention of ill health. As they are local, they know and understand the local health provision.

Community Matrons can carry out physical examinations, diagnoses and plan treatment, manage and prescribe medication and treatment and co-ordinate an individual's package of care. It is expected that each Community Matron will have a case load of about fifty patients at any one time. It is the governments aim to have 3,000 Community Matrons in place by 2008.

"I am not very mobile because of arthritis and I tend to buy many of my friends and relatives presents by mail order. I have an old friend who has Coeliac Disease and I would like to send her an edible present, any ideas?"

Answer : There are approximately 125,000 people, in the U.K. registered with Coeliac Disease but it is estimated that there may be as many as 500,000 plus people suffering with it. As a result there are a growing number of companies who are providing gluten free food products for this market. If you have access to the internet you can find several who offer mail order edible products.

If however, you do not have access the following company may be of help to you:

The Gluten Free Kitchen is based in Yorkshire and offer celebration cakes and fruit cakes by mail order and you can contact them on 01969 625469.

"I live in a rural part of the county and feel it cannot be long before I have to stop driving my adapted car. I am concerned as to how I will shop; get to the doctors, etc. I live alone, have mobility problems and have no close relatives. Are there car schemes that can help me?"

Answer : Different councils offer varying facilities to people who are unable to use conventional transport.

For example, some councils offer a Ring and Ride minibus service which travel along flexible routes allowing passengers to be picked up away from the conventional bus stops. For people who are wheelchair dependent, there is a wheelchair lift whereby you can put your own wheelchair in for your own use at the other end of your journey.

It is possible that there is a voluntary car scheme in your area whereby volunteers allow you to pre-book their car to a destination and the charge is a specified mileage rate.

Other local schemes may be in place. Give your local council a call and check what they are offering or are aware of.