Care Questions : Article 60Care Questions : Article 60

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.60

"Am I right in thinking that a resident living in a care home is allowed to smoke in the home? The carers are banned from smoking but is the resident of the home also banned?"

Answer : In residential homes, public areas such as: sitting rooms, dining areas, reception areas, corridors and all other communal areas which are enclosed and other places and structures which are “substantially enclosed” are legally required to be smoke free.

In addition work vehicles used by more than one person will also have to be smoke free.

Management policy of the home can allow smoking in bedrooms. The person in charge of the home can designate a bedroom/bedrooms in which smoking is allowed but the bedrooms ventilation system must not link into the smoke free areas of the home.

A further smoking room for the residents of the home can be designated but has to be fully enclosed by solid, floor to ceiling walls and meeting again the condition of having no linkage into the smoke free areas of the home.

"Please can you tell me about an insurance called an Immediate Care Plan?"

Answer : An Immediate Care Plan is for people who are at the point of needing care. The plan will provide a guaranteed income for life in exchange for a lump sum investment to pay for either care at home or in a residential care setting. The policy will pay out until care is no longer needed.

Only specialist financial advisors are allowed to sell Immediate Care Plans and to find an advisor in your area contact the organisation Symponia Ltd, 01789 774595

"I am in my late seventies and not very agile. I live in private rented accommodation and I do not think my landlord does enough to check that the flat is safe.I pay my rent by bankers order so I do not have contact with him. What should he be doing?"

Answer : Under the 1985 Housing Act your landlord must make sure there are adequate escape routes, for example in case of a fire. It may be, depending on the size of the property, that he is obliged to fit smoke alarms and provide a fire extinguisher.

Your landlord must make sure that if you have gas on the premises that any gas appliance that is provided is maintained in good order and that a Corgi registered plumber carries out a safety check each year.

A landlord must maintain all electrical installations and any electrical appliances they may supply plus if furniture is supplied this must meet the fire resistant regulations.

If you look in your local phone book under Environmental Health Office, give them a ring and they can give you further details. They are also the people to contact if your landlord is not maintaining his obligations.

"My Father has a slight urinary, incontinence problem but would like to go swimming. Do you know of any swimming trunks or pants that will allow him to go swimming yet maintain the required hygiene levels?"

Answer : You could visit the website of who manufactures a range of washable, continence swimwear for people of all ages. They offer a range of designs and colours and if you do not have access to the internet you can call them on 0845 601 8341

"Can disabled people travel on Eurostar trains?"

Answer : Yes, the Eurostar trains from St Pancras, Ebbsfleet and Ashford have facilities for wheelchairs. The rates are reduced for passengers travelling in wheelchairs and also for a companion. Spaces are however limited and you should make a reservation in advance on 0870 518 6186 Further information can be found on

Interesting Information

During a week in September 2007 the independent home care sector provided 78% of the total number of homecare hours in England. Gross public expenditure on homecare has increased to £2,642 billion.
(Source: NHS Information Centre)

Scotland has one of the highest rates of stroke in the world. Approximately 14,000 have a stroke in Scotland each year.

According to the Association of British Insurers the annual fee for private nursing care in England in 2006 was £25,552 and for residential home care the figure was £18,420.