Care Questions : Article 55

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.55

"I am in my eighties and live in a bungalow which has a small garden at the front and one a little bit bigger in the back.

Both gardens are mainly lawn and flower borders and they used to look lovely. In the last year or so I have had to let them become neglected as I have been unwell. As a result they are now overgrown and too much for me.

Do you know of any organisation that could either recommend a gardener or are there any voluntary organisations that could come and clean it up for me? Next summer I hope to be well enough to go back to doing it myself again."

Answer : You could try the Age Concern office that is nearest to you to see if they have a list of reputable tradesmen and similarly you can also try your local council office to see if they have vetted list.

Many Community Service Volunteer (CSV) groups also have volunteers who run an Older People’s Gardening Project which will have been set up to help people, usually over the age of sixty five years to maintain and enjoy their gardens. Their telephone number should be in your local telephone directory.

The CSV organisations are always looking out for people who are willing to volunteer some of their time, so if any of our readers are gardeners and have a few hours a month to spare, I am sure the CSV would be pleased to hear from you.


"I feel safe in my own home and I am careful. However, an old friend of mine has recently had a fall and broken her leg. Can you give me some tips on how to make my home as fall proof as possible?"

Answer : A useful framework to try and avoid trips, slips and falls is:

  1. Look around for anything that may cause an accident.e.g. slippery floors, loose carpets, broken stair rods, loose mats, trailing flexes and general clutter.

  2. Look at the rooms in your home and see if you can arrange them in a safer manner e.g. items you use everyday in the kitchen, place within easy reach.

  3. Look at the lighting in your home, is it poor in areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, bedroom, etc? If poor, think about replacing it with stronger bulbs. At night, leave a light on in the hallway if you are likely to get up during the night.

  4. Think of the areas in your home where you sometimes feel anxious. For example, if you feel a little unsteady on your stairs, if you feel anxious when getting in and out of the bath, perhaps handrails will help. Contact your local surgery and ask for an occupational therapy assessment that can then help you access aids to assist you.

  5. If you spill any liquid on your floors, clean it up immediately.

  6. Many councils operate a Home Safety Scheme so for further advice give your local council a call. The telephone number will be in your telephone book.


"I live at the present time in a large house but I am moving into a smaller flat in the New Year. I offered a couple of local charities some of my furniture but they said they could not take it. Do you know of any charity that would consider taking furniture, refrigerator, washing machine, etc?"

Answer : The FRN, Furniture Re-use Network, is a national body which supports, assists and develops charitable re-use organisations across the UK. Their aim is to help households in need, access furniture and white goods at affordable prices. The money obtained from selling such goods at affordable prices is then re-cycled for further use for people.

There are several contact points throughout the UK and you can get in touch with your nearest one by telephoning 0117 954 3571 and asking them for the branch nearest to you.


Second Hand Equipment

Many people buy equipment and aids for their relatives who have a disability. After the person has no need for the aid they tend to lay round in the cupboard gathering dust. Able Community Care now has a second hand sight that can sell your unwanted aids and equipment, or indeed may help you find a piece of second hand equipment rather than buying new.

Visit these pages to either buy second hand disability aids or to sell your second hand disability equipment