Care Questions : Article 56Care Questions : Article 56

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.56

"I live on my own in a small, council bungalow. I have no near relatives and since my husband died several years ago, my home has not been decorated inside or out. I am registered as disabled so am unable to do much in the way of helping myself.

I do however; feel a little concerned about looking in the telephone directory and just ringing painters and decorators up. Similarly, my garden also needs some work.Is there any help or advice that I can receive about my situation?"

Answer : Some district councils offer help to disabled and elderly tenants who have no near relatives to help them with tasks such as decorating and gardening but this does differ from council to council. It is worth however, giving your own local council a ring, the number will be in your telephone book, to see if they operate such schemes. If they do not, it is possible that they will have a list of registered tradesmen who have been vetted and who can be relied upon. Such tradesmen will charge commercial rates but you will have the security of knowing that the council will at least have vetted them

If your council does not offer any of the above help it is also worth giving your local Age Concern a ring and giving them details of your situation as they may be able to advise you re appropriate tradesmen to contact.

"My Mother was born before 20th September 1929 and, I understand, is therefore entitled to a free passport. However, not knowing this, when her passport ran out, she applied and paid for another one. I have been unable to find out how to get her a refund for her. She organised her new passport via the post."

Answer : There is no readily available literature that I can find as to how elderly people can get a refund. However, I have made some enquiries and the way to proceed as follows:

Around the country are seven regional Passport Offices of which the one nearest to you is Newport. (Others are Belfast, Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Peterborough). Quite simply write a letter to your nearest office, quote all relevant passport numbers and explain why you require a refund. They will then deal with your request and arrange the refund for you. (Source National Passport helpline).

"My elderly aunt was recently in hospital after having a hip fracture mended and she was discharged home without anyone asking her if she had help at home. I checked with the hospital social services and the person I spoke to said that they had not received a referral for my aunt and knew nothing about her.

Is it not the case that before a vulnerable person is discharged from hospital their situation at home has to be assessed to see if they require any help or pieces of equipment when they return home? My aunt is adamant that no one came to ask her what her home situation was."

Answer : Under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 it is the duty of the local authority social services department to carry out an assessment for anyone who appears to need a community care service because they are for example elderly, disabled or suffering from a physical or mental illness.

It does appear in your aunts situation that she was not referred for such an assessment by her key nurse/ward manager when she should have been and you may wish to take this further with the hospital concerned.

"I think in the next year or so I may need someone to come in and help me have a bath and get myself dressed in the mornings. Will I get this help free?"

Answer : You do not give me any information about your income or any financial assets you may have, such as your home, savings, etc. Therefore I can only advise you that at present only people with assets up to £12,000 have their care paid for by the state. Depending on your financial situation you may be given some contribution towards any personal care that you may need but you will need to contact your local social services office at the time you think that you need such care.

Able Community Care provides long term live-in care schemes. For our current brochure or further information please telephone our local manager Mandy Gülatar on 01726821100.