March 27, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.417

Care News

People who cash in their pensions in order to save or invest the money risk losing their right to free social care if they fall ill or become too frail to look after themselves, leading charities have warned.

Following chancellor George Osborne's budget announcement that people will be able to take more money out of their pensions under more favourable tax arrangements without having to buy an annuity, there are increasing fears that some will make ill-informed decisions that could backfire.

On Saturday both the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), which works to combat poverty, and Age UK, Britain's largest charity for the elderly, said people without large assets who cashed in pension savings could become trapped into paying care costs which they would have avoided if the money had remained invested in a pension.

(Source: Guardian/Observer)

Bradford - Social care teams are making final preparations for a controversial cut in care for the elderly and disabled. From next month, adults who receive ‘moderate’ care from Bradford Council – such as help to carry out personal care or domestic routines – will need to find support elsewhere under plans which could save the authority £1.4 million. In future, Bradford Council will only provide or pay for care for people who have needs assessed as ‘substantial’ or ‘critical’.

(Source: Telegraph and Argus)

Preparing for life after the Independent Living Fund

The Independent Living Fund is for the chop but what will its demise mean for the disabled people who relied on its help?

The battle to save the Independent Living Fund is over.

A few months ago it looked as if there was a chance for a last-minute reprieve for the ILF, which helps severely disabled people live independently by providing cash to top-up their social care support.

In November, the Court of Appeal torpedoed the government’s original plan to shut the fund when it ruled the Department for Work and Pensions had failed to fulfil its duty to promote equality when making the decision.

But last week disability minister Mike Penning announced that, following a new equality impact assessment of the plan, the government is going to press ahead with closing the fund.

The only concession was that the fund will now shut in June, rather than March, 2015. After that the responsibility for supporting ILF users will fall to English local authorities and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The decision was a blow for campaigners and one that many recipients of the fund fear.

Many worry that the change will result in a postcode lottery with the UK’s 18,509 ILF recipients left at the mercy of the different policies and financial decisions of individual councils.

As ILF users told the government’s original consultation on the plans, losing the ILF cash could have devastating results.

"People like me will end up sitting alone looking out of the window for most of the day, unable to even go to the toilet," said one. "I will be imprisoned at home, and will even have to give up my dogs.

Another told the DWP: Before I was introduced to the ILF I was looked after by the local authority. I had no life at all, just a horrible existence. I didn’t get out of bed for months at a time. My care was extremely basic – to be kept clean, fed and medicated."

Funding reductions

The government’s new equality impact assessment is hardly reassuring.

It says, "it is almost certain that closure of the ILF will mean that the majority of users will face changes to the way their support is delivered, including the real possibility of a reduction to the funding they currently receive".

The rest of this article can be read here:

Question of the Week

"I am disabled and I have self booked a holiday abroad this summer. Can you recommend an insurance company for me to get travel insurance please?"

Answer : I cannot recommend a particular company but you may like to look at the following web site:

This organisation not only offers insurance but also can help at discounted rates with airport hotels, airport parking, airport lounges, port parking and even flight help.

Spring Tip of the Week

Good weather means that many of us like to be out and about. Wheelchairs which have spent most of the winter indoors will be taken out and given a quick clean.

Wheelchairs should have more than a quick clean if they have been ‘resting’ for the winter.

Checks need to be made on the tyres, Are they splitting, bulging or cracking: Are the tyres inflated to the level they should be, are the wheels parallel to each other?

To get a list of quick checks to carry out to ensure your wheelchair is safe and the ride comfortable, take a look at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital's online ‘Wheelchair Maintenance Advice Sheet’ at:

In-House News

A prospective client was visited in South Wales and Norfolk monitoring visits have taken place.

Able Community Care had an exhibition stand at The Later Life Day held at the Royal Norfolk Showground.

A presentation was made to a carers group in Norfolk.

Our new Twitter followers have increased again this week. If you would like to follow Able you can find our Twitter page here:

Sadly a client we had been caring for since 2005 died this week. The live-in care worker who was with her was introduced in 2006.

Interesting Information

There are 9.4 million disabled people in England of which 45% are males and 55% female.

On a worldwide basis, every second, two people will turn 60 years old.

Client Profile of the Week

Rene is in her early 80’s and has been diagnosed with dementia. Her main interest in life is nature, animals and birds plus her pet dog. Life in a care home was not attractive to her and Rene decided to try a live-in care scheme as an option. This was in 2013. Her first live-in carer is one of her regular carers and Rene’s dog is an inclusive part of her care plan.

If you enjoy reading this please forward it to anyone else who may also find it of interest. They can also subscribe for their own weekly copy from our website:

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.
Telephone 01603 764567