"My Mother lives some distance from me and is in failing health. The family have decided that a move to a residential home in the area I live would be the best option. I am happy to go and visit homes in my area but I would welcome some advice as to the sort of questions I should ask."
Answer : All residential homes are inspected by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) so one of the first things you could do would be to take any one or two homes that you feel may be suitable and go to the CSCI website and read their latest inspection reports. These reports will give you a good idea of the homes themselves and their operation.
However this is no substitute for going along and seeing the home for yourself. Questions you need to ask include asking about fees, how much, what do they include, what is the notice period, etc. You need to consider how you are going to get there to visit, what is the accommodation like, what impression do you get of the staff, what is the choice for meals, can you have a trial period, etc. There are many more questions you can ask and if you contact your local Age Concern they will be able to give you a fact sheet with questions that cover the comprehensive area of moving into residential care.
Answer : Charity Stamps Direct is a company which distributes used stamps to a number of charities which then raise funding from them. The charities that they work with include The Barn Owl Trust, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Nurses Christian Fellowship and The Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust, to name but some. For further information call 0131 552 1220, or 0131 478 7021 or take a look at their website.
Answer : One place to look for a definitive answer is to go to HM Revenue and Customs website. This can be found at http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk and the section “VAT reliefs for disabled people” (although a lengthy document) will give you all the information you need.
Answer : There is a postal Scrabble Club that can be contacted by either writing to Robert Pells (Secretary), 34 Kent Rd., Bingley, West Yorkshire, BSD16 4PF or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.absp.org.uk
Answer : If a hearing aid is non digital and in working order it can be cleaned and recycled by Help the Aged. The hearing aids are then sent to developing nations e.g. India.
Pack the hearing aid carefully and post in a jiffy bag to: Help the Aged (Hearing Aid Appeal) FREEPOST LON13616, London, EC1B 1PS.
Finally, we send all our readers our “Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year.”