Tag Archives: Slips & Falls

Independent Living in Norfolk and the Handyman Service

HandyPerson Services in Norfolk for Independent LivingI was recently in a meeting talking to a ‘Handyman’. This particular gent works for Broadland District Council and told me it can be hard to get the message out. To tell people there is a subsidised / free service for older people, to support independent living and staying safe at home.

Six of the Seven Norfolk District Councils offer the Service supporting Independent Living

So I looked into it. Six of the seven District Councils in Norfolk offer a Handyperson Service (Breckland Council doesn’t). Eligibility and cost vary slightly over the rest of Norfolk but the remit is the same. If you are elderly and need a small job doing in your home your local HandyPerson service can help you. This could be fitting grab rails, putting up shelves or installing a keysafe. Maybe fitting an access ramp, moving heavy furniture or fixing  leaking tap.

South Norfolk District Council offer their Handyman Service to everyone (any age) for £20 / hr, subsidized if you are over 65. Norwich City Council’s Handy Van Scheme is only for over 65’s and charges £15 / hr. This is the same as Broadland D.C.s Handy Person +, although these also offer signposting and information as part of their service. North Norfolk D.C. use the Benjamin Foundation to deliver their scheme, Ben’s Workforce, to the over 65’s.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s Handyperson Service is delivered by Safe at Home for £20 / hr to over 60’s, as is the Handyperson  Service in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, delivered by the Careline Community Service.

In all cases these prices are lowered or waived if you are on means-tested benefits.

So stop looking at the front door that needs repainting, wondering how to get it done. Try your local council, get it done for a fixed rate by a trustworthy Handyperson.

Kat Navarro

Contact Care Lifeline Alarms aid Independent Living in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Christmas Gift ideas for your elderly parents this year

present-2Wondering what to get your elderly parents for Christmas? If they’ve already got enough scarves and warm socks and they’ve told you they really don’t need anything… try looking around their home from a different perspective and see if there’s not something you can DO for them.

Try donning a pair of imaginary glasses, not Rose-Tinted but a pair of Elderly Lenses, and put yourself in their shoes as you move around your parents’ home and garden. Here’s some pointers:

START AT THE ENTRANCE. If there’s a step to either the front or back door, is there a sturdy handrail? Are the steps even? Turn your attention to outside lights. Is there good lighting outside the door?

Then come inside the door, when mum or dad locks the door at night, is the key left in the lock? This will mean no-one can unlock the door from outside if your parent is inside and needs help. If not in the lock, are the keys nearby in case they have to get out quickly? A handy solution can be a simple hook (either in the nearby wall or a suction hook on the door) for the keys to hang on. And don’t forget the doormat – is it a trip hazard?

REDUCE SLIPS AND TRIPS. On the subject of mats, check all the mats and rugs around the house. Are they curling up and causing a trip hazard? Replace them. Do they need a rubber liner underneath to stop them slipping? Cast your eyes around for potential trip hazards – wires or objects on the floor and see if they can be moved. Then turn your attention to footwear. Sloppy slippers, open-backed slippers, worn-out slippers, big-fluffy-loose-fitting slippers should all go.

BRIGHTEN THE PLACE UP. Pay attention to lighting inside too. As they get older and eyesight deteriorates, your parents may benefit from more powerful overhead light fixtures, as well as task lights carefully placed near work surfaces such as kitchen counters. Make sure that the ambient lighting is glare-free and at a consistent level from one room to the next to avoid eye strain.

VISIT THE BATHROOM. Mum or Dad might say they really don’t need grab rails in the bathroom. But when they are there, you do just use them without giving it a thought. If you do slip in the bathroom you tend to go down with a bump. So avoid it. Non-slip mat? Bath seat? Raised toilet seat?

GET TECHNOLOGICAL. There is no need to be completely tech savvy, but there are some useful gadgets. Do they receive lots of cold calls making them get up to answer the phone all the time? These can be screened and blocked. How about a daily skype or facetime? Not only does it keep you in touch but you can also see how they are looking.

Yes, you can have your Little Red Button with you in the bath!

Woman stuck in bath for four days ‘saved by waitress’

This was the BBC headline on Monday. Jeremy Vine picked up the story on Tuesday on BBC Radio 2. After speaking live to the concerned waitress Sonia, and asking after Doreen, Jeremy went on to take some calls on the subject.
A lady from Sussex phoned in to say her mum had got stuck in the bath once. She explained how she had rung and rung through the morning but got no reply so asked one of her mum’s neighbours to let themselves in and check. “They found she had got stuck in the bath, couldn’t get out and was absolutely frozen and terrified.” The lady continued “Where was the lifeline? Of course she had taken it off because you are not supposed to wear it in the bath.”

Keep your little red button with you in the bath!

 And this is where I want to draw you attention – to that little red button and the bath. NO, the button does not like to be submerged in water for a long time but yes, it is showerproof. Which means it doesn’t mind a quick dunking in water. So if you are bathing, our advice is put your alarm button on the edge of the bath, right next to you. If it falls in, just fish it out again and it will be fine. If you are showering, you can wear it the whole time in the shower

It is designed to be with you through all your daily tasks in your home and garden. The button can be worn either around your neck or on a wrist strap. You choose, depending on which works best for you, and which is easiest for you to wear through the day. At night pop it by your bed, ready to put back on in the morning.little red button is showerproof

Kat Navarro

Contact Care: Little red button

Reduce slips and falls with a new pair of slippers

Contact Care are teaming up with Norfolk County Council to highlight the need to reduce the number of slips and falls amongst the elderly in our region by hosting a Slipper Swap event at Tuckswood Library, Robin Hood Road, Norwich NR4 6BX on the 29th January between 10am – 12pm. According to the University Hospitals of Leicester, 24,000 over-65s in the UK fall over at home every year because of poorly fitting footwear.

Shockingly, falls account for at least a third of all hospital admissions in the over 65s, according to Age UK’s website* Other worrying facts include:

  • Falls are the largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people, and significantly impact on long term outcomes, e.g. being a major precipitant of people moving from their own home to long-term nursing or residential care.146
  • Almost 3,653 people aged 65+ died from having a fall in 2013 (E&W, latest available data). This was almost equally divided between men and women, and would equate to ten people every day.147
  • Around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year. These are mainly due to falls. The annual cost for all hip fractures in the UK, including medical and social care, is about £2 billion. *

Winter can be a particularly hazardous time for the old and infirm and with the colder months upon us, it is important to keep a check on the wellbeing of older friends, neighbours and relatives. It is also important that organisations in the community work together to support the elderly to continue to live independently and to signpost them to events that are designed to do just this. Research has shown that older people are more likely to fall in the home if they are wearing ill-fitting footwear. A significant number of older people fall every year because of slippers that do not fit very well or have become unsafe through wear and tear – a problem identified as one of the main causes of falls.

A Slipper Swap is a beautifully simple idea but it can really help to raise awareness and provide a practical solution to reducing slips and falls. The idea is that you bring along your old, worn out or ill-fitting slippers and the friendly team from NCC will swap them for a brand new, non-slip pair. Simple!

Catrina, from Contact Care will also be offering advice on solutions for supporting people through the trauma of having a fall. A contact Care lifeline service gives reassurance and peace of mind by ensuring that help is immediately at hand at the press of a button. A trained member of staff from the 24hr response centre will provide assistance in whatever form is needed and if required they will contact nominated emergency contacts to alert them to the situation and request assistance. If this sounds like something you or an elderly/frail relative or friend could benefit from then head over to the Contact Care stand where Catrina will be providing advice and leaflets on the service.

Other help on offer includes advice about fall prevention, NHS Health Checks and information concerning the free one-to-one Health Trainer service. As well as the swap, there will be free thermometers and information leaflets on a wide range of subjects as well as free hot drinks and refreshments. So come along, it’s at Tuckswood Library, Robin Hood Road, Norwich NR4 6BX

29th January, from 10am – 12pm. We look forward to seeing you!
For more information about falls and how to prevent them, visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/Falls/Pages/Introduction.aspx
To find out more about local services that can support you in making positive changes to your lifestyle, please visitwww.norfolkslivingwell.org.uk.