The Spending Review advised in the last Budget will publish details of its findings on 20th October 2010. The consultation, was to include ideas from public sector employees and the general public as part of the plans to reduce the current financial deficit. (Over 60,000 ideas were generated in a fortnight).
The plans when published will set out how money will be spent for the years 2011-2012 and 2014-2015.
It will be at this time that the fate of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and its future role, if any, will be announced.
In order to make cuts and their money go further, some Councils are already considering ideas such as scrapping in house social care services and buying in from the independent sector. Many are raising the criteria for people who are eligible for services and in the last four months, several Councils have raised their eligibility criteria for social care support to Substantial or critical needs only. Substantial needs include the definition of 'an inability to carry out the majority of personal care or domestic routines'.
For further details of criteria visit the Dept. of Health's guidance "Fair Access to Care Services" at: http://www.dh.gov.uk
With the increasing number of older people, services being reduced, family not necessarily living nearby and losing friends, many people become lonely, sometimes not talking to anyone for days. Isolated living in very rural areas also increases loneliness.
Counsel and Care are receiving an increasing amount of enquiries because older people are lonely or isolated and this has lead to a new service being launched: VitalLinks which is to be a growing network of befriending schemes which can either become a new scheme or can link in to existing schemes from other organisations if they are already up and running.
For further details go to: http://www.counselandcare.org.uk/networks/vitallinks
Able to Cook is selling well. Many people are purchasing copies of the book for Christmas presents! Further details can be found at: /abletocook.html with all profits from the book going to Age UK Norfolk and Connects & Co, a charity supporting young carers.
Since Motability was set up in 1978 it has helped over 2million people get mobile with a new car. Through the Scheme there are over 4,000 cars to choose from including around 300 lower emission 'green' cars. There are approx. 5,000 car dealerships in the Scheme and 39 car manufacturers.
Question of the Week
"An elderly neighbour of mine has an NHS wheelchair and sometimes I take her out in it. The wheelchair is not easy to push, looks as though it could do with a little bit of care, but my neighbour is reluctant to pay for an engineer to come and look at it. If as she says, it is a wheelchair supplied by the NHS, could they not send someone out to take a look at it for no or a small cost?"
Answer : NHS Wheelchair Services are run by local health authorities and part of the process for anyone receiving a wheelchair through the Service is that a maintenance and repair service is arranged.
It may be that your neighbour, if she has had the wheelchair for some time, may have either not read or forgotten this, so a call to her local Wheelchair Services at her local health authority should sort out any problems.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this and "see you next week".
Angela Gifford, Proprietor
Able Community Care.