Care Questions : Article 6Care Questions : Article 6

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.6

"I am now in my late fifties and since I left school I have had four jobs with breaks of several years in between when I brought my children up. I would like to know how much pension I will be entitled to when I am sixty. How can I find out?"

Answer : It is easy to find out. Contact your local DSS Office and ask for a Pension Forecast Form (called BR19). Complete the form and send it off to the address on the form. You will receive information on the amount you have accumulated and what you will receive at your normal pension date.

Bear in mind that the information you receive is relevant to the date you receive it and does not take into account any future Government changes. At the time of any change, then you would just go through the procedure again.

"I have elderly parents who may need care in the future. I understand the National Care Standards for Care Agencies have now been published. How do I obtain a copy so I can ask the relevant questions when the time comes?"

Answer : You can contact the following:- 30262/Domiciliary Care, National Minimum Standards, Dept. of Health Publications, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH. Or telephone 08701 555 455, Fax 01623 724524, E-mail: The Standards are also available in Braille, on audio cassette tape, on disk and in large print and other languages.

"I have just retired and would like information about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in my area, what do I do?"

Answer : Firstly contact your local Police station to advise them of your intentions and then contact the Neighbourhood Watch Association for additional information. You will need to have an idea of what issues you want your Neighbourhood Watch to tackle, e.g. car crime, burglaries, etc.

If you are planning to be the Co-ordinator of the Watch then you need to be prepared to give quite a lot of time to the project as this role includes maintaining the Watch in your specific area, acting as a link within the scheme, with other co-ordinators, the Police and your community. The telephone number for Neighbourhood Watch information is 020 7662 3505. Website is: which has lots of helpful information.

"I have taken early retirement and after a few months want more to do! Any ideas?"

Answer : You may have seen advertisements for Learn Direct or Lifelong Learning, all designed to continue education throughout life. So if you are looking for an educational theme you can call 0800 100 900 for information about the many opportunities that are available throughout the UK.

If you are thinking of Voluntary Work you may like to contact The Experience Corps who can give you details about volunteering in the South West. The Experience Corps is an independent, non profit making company funded by grant aid from the Home Office. It is set up to encourage people over the age of 50 to offer their skills and experience to benefit others in their local communities. For further information ring 0800 10 60 80.

"Do you know of any leisure financial discounts that are on offer to the over fifties which are easy to access?"

Answer : There are often discounts available locally for the over fifties in restaurants, sports centres, cinema’s etc. which you can usually source from your local newspapers. On a national level here are two which you may find worth following up.

The Beefeater and Travel Inn chain have an Emerald Club for the over 55’s. Membership, which is free, offers discounts off food in the restaurants and also discount on stays in participating Travel Inns on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Just call 08705 77 33 00 The Emerald Customer Helpline.

If you want to travel National Express Eurolines offers 30% discounts on most National Express services for the over 50’s.

"If you find a dead deer on the road, is there any one you can contact to remove it?"

Answer : Dead deer, dogs and cats on the public highway can be removed by your local Council Public Amenities Department. If you come across one look in your local telephone book and give them a call.