September 11, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.441

Care News

New figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show that Councils in England face a bill of more than £600m a year to help people with smoking-related illness stay in their own homes (domiciliary care). The true figure may be much higher because of lack of information on some costs. There are no figures at all for what Councils are spending to support people aged under 50.

Individuals also face a bill of about £450 million to cover the cost of their own care. This means that more than £1 billion is spent on domiciliary care every year in England because of smoking.

For the first time the new research has estimated the cost of smoking to the social care system. It reveals that current smokers over 50 are twice as likely to need help with day-to-day living and on average need care nine years earlier than non-smokers.

The study shows that every year 47,000 more people need social care as a result of smoking. However, smoking means that 846,000 people are receiving unpaid care from friends or family.

For every person who dies from smoking, 20 are living with a smoking-related illness. The research shows that smokers need care on average 9 years earlier than non-smokers.

The costs of smoking to the social care system in England also shows that local authorities spend more as a proportion of their total care budgets on smoking-related care than does the NHS. Further details can be found

NHS 111 Service

Scams targeted at older people – in the last few weeks scams aimed at older people have been published in a range of newspapers, the following are a selection:

Question of the Week

"I am thinking of getting my older brother a wheelchair as he is less mobile than he used to be and walking with a stick does not help him get around much. I usually take him shopping and out for social activities so would welcome advice on what to look for when buying a wheelchair?"

Answer : The following advice comes from the NHS web site and should help you: There are three types of wheelchair:

Before choosing a chair, think about whether it will be: There are advantages and disadvantages to each wheelchair, so the choice depends on what you need. For example, electric wheelchairs are good for outdoor use, but they can be heavy and awkward to transport.

Manual wheelchairs come as either standard or active-user type. A standard wheelchair can't be modified, but an active-user wheelchair can be adjusted and adapted to suit the needs of the user. Active-user wheelchairs are usually more expensive.

The design of the chair also has an impact on how it can be used. Look out for:

If the person you care for needs an attendant-propelled wheelchair, it's important to consider your needs if you're going to be taking them out in it a lot. For example, can you move it easily, and can you lift it and put it in the boot of the car?

Before deciding on a specific style of wheelchair, try it out around the house or on the local roads. There are 40 disabled living centres around the country that have equipment on display and can give advice on the different styles of wheelchair available.

Autumn Tip of the Week

10% of the world's population are disabled because they don't have spectacles.

Vision Aid Overseas runs a nationwide spectacle collection scheme from UK Opticians which operates to raise money for Vision Aid Overseas, helping children and adults who need sight tests and spectacles to get them. To find the nearest optician which will accept your old spectacles for Vision Aid go to:

In-House News

Two new live-in care workers joined Able Community Care this week and one interview has taken place.

New posts have commenced in:

In House activity raising funds for Spinal Injury Research has added up to approx. £34.50 as a result of cake making and losing weight!

True story – we received a telephone call this week from a gentleman whose young daughter had begun work two weeks ago for a care agency. To date she had no experience. Because the care organisation was short of care workers and she was a driver with a car, they sent her out to work with clients. Between clients, she was stopped by the police who found she did not have insurance that was appropriate for receiving mileage costs. The police advised her that as a result she could face a fine of £300 and six points on her licence.

Her father said she had received no information about insuring her car, had received no documentation about the company and how it worked and to date, had received no contract.

Interesting Information/Statistics

Client Profile of the Week

Just over 10 years ago, when in her 70’s, Norma as a result of a stroke and loneliness decided to have a live-in carer package.

Norma was and still is an independent minded lady who needs her carers to take her out and about.

During the 10 years Norma has moved house and had varying rotas of liked care workers. Her current cover includes a live-in carer who was introduced to her in 2008 and a regular live-in carer who first came onto the rota in 2013.

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