Archive for September, 2015

The Silver Line; A Helpline for Older People

Monday, September 28th, 2015 by morethan

The Silver Line is a national charity offering an invaluable service to older people.

“More than half of all 75 year olds in the UK live alone and one in ten suffers “intense” loneliness but is reluctant to ask for help. In a poll conducted to mark the national launch of The Silver Line on 25 November 2013, 9 out of 10 older people told researchers that “a chat on the phone” is the most helpful solution when they feel lonely but 1 in 4 older people say they never or seldom have someone to chat to on the phone.”

The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The Silver Line:

  • Offers information, friendship and advice
  • Link callers to local groups and services
  • Offers regular befriending calls
  • Protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect
  • FREE to callers

There are various ways both individuals and organisations can get involved with The Silver Line including:

  • Volunteer - whether you can offer a few hours or a regular amount of time
  • Get your company to partner with them
  • Fundraise in your local community
  • Take part in a sporting event or challenge
  • Donate – online, by post, by text
  • Shop with one of the online partners
  • Sign up to receive the newsletter
  • Follow them on Twitter or Facebook, then share their posts with others

More Than Mobility also partners with Contact the elderly who is another charity which tackles isolation byregular face to face contact by running monthly local Sunday tea parties.  Do take a look at how you can help by either hosting a tea party or driving the elderly guests each month.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com

Adapting Your Home To Stay Independent

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 by morethan

If you, or someone living with you in your property, has a disability, an adaptation may help you to live more comfortably in your home.  Even simple equipment can mean the difference between living independently and needing someone to look after you.

You can buy your own equipment, but a social worker or occupational therapist can help make decisions about the equipment that would be most helpful and major work such as providing an extension, ground floor toilet or installing a lift

Type of adaptation work can include:

  • widening doors or installing ramps
  • minor work such as fitting a handrail, ramp or shower
  • providing a specially adapted room in which it is safe to leave a disabled person unattended
  • installing a stair lift so there is better access to a bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom
  • installing a downstairs bathroom or wet room
  • improving or installing a heating system which is suitable for the disabled person
  • adapting heating or lighting controls so that they are easier to use by a disabled person

How to get help with your adaptations?

If you are in a housing executive or housing association tenant

If you are living in a housing executive or housing association tenant, there will be no cost for the adaptation and your rent is unlikely to be increased unless substantial structural additions are made to your house. Your landlord, i.e. local district office or housing association will be able to advise you.

If you own your own home or if you live in a privately rented house

If you own your own home or live in a privately rented house your local Health and Personal Social Services Trust may be able to provide small minor works and lifts free of charge. You may also be eligible for grant aid (Disabled Facilities Grant or Home Repair Assistance Grant) towards the cost of adaptations which are not carried out by the Health Trusts. Landlords can also apply provided there is a person with permanent disability either living in the house or intending to live in the house once adaptation work has been completed.

The aim of the grants system is to provide financial help for those who can least afford to pay for having their home altered or improved. The amount of Disabled Facilities or Home Repair Assistance Grant you get will depend upon the cost of adaptations and your ability to pay for them. Therefore the amount of grant you will be given will be calculated by a form of means test called a Test of Resources (TOR). Where a Disabled Facility Grant is in respect of a dependent child the parents/guardians should not be subject to a Test of Resources assessment. Your local Grants Officer will be able to advise you further on this.

The grants office will work out how much you are able to pay towards the cost of the works. The amount of grant you receive, if any, will be the difference between the amount you need to pay and the total cost of the work eligible for grant.

If you want a rough idea of what you might need to pay, use our Ready Reckoner:  The maximum grant you may be given is £25,000 for a Disabled Facilities Grant. Under the Home Repair Assistance Grant you can get assistance up to a maximum of £5,000 over a three year period.

More Than Mobility has an extensive range of mobility products suited toadapting the home including handrails, ramps, stair-lifts and bathing aids. Do take a look at our website on the latest mobility products and services available.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobity.com

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day

Monday, September 21st, 2015 by morethan

More Than Mobility have been long supporters of the Alzheimer’s Society and we would like to raise awareness of World Alzheimer’s Day taking place today on Monday 21st September 2015.

“Every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. At current rates, experts believe one third of British people born in 2015 will develop dementia.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting up to 90% of people living with dementia. But there are a large number of conditions which cause the symptoms of dementia, as a result of changes that happen in the brain and the ultimate loss of nerve cells (neurons). Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and fronto-temporal dementia (including Pick’s disease).

The theme for World Alzheimer’s Day 2015 is Remember Me. The Alzheimer’s Society are encouraging people all around the world to learn to spot the signs of dementia, but also not to forget about loved ones who are living with dementia, or those who may have passed away.

So remember to GO PURPLE ON SEPTEMBER 21ST.

World Alzheimer’s Day is on 21 September each year, the pinnacle of World Alzheimer’s Month. There are several ways you can participate in World Alzheimer’s Day. You could organise your own event or contact Alzheimer’s Society for activities to get involved in:

You can also get involved by using these printable materials: http://worldalzmonth.org/eng/get-involved

For more information please visit the Alzheimers Disease International website.

More Than Mobility provide a wide range of mobility products and services suitable for the elderly and disabled and in particular for dementia sufferers.  Do take a look at our website at www.morethanmobility.com.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com

Advice on Sorting Power of Attorney

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 by morethan

Anyone who is aged 18 or older who has the mental ability to make decisions for themselves can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for them in the future. This legal authority is called “power of attorney“. A power of attorney gives the attorney the legal authority to deal with third parties such as banks or the local council.

There are a number of reasons why you might need someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf.

It could just be temporary: for example, if you are in hospital and need help with everyday things such as making sure that bills are paid. Or you may need to make more long-term plans if, for example, you have been diagnosed with dementia.

There are two types of power of attorney: ordinary and lasting.

How to grant an ordinary power of attorney

You can give someone power of attorney to deal with all your financial affairs or only certain matters, for example, to operate a bank account, to buy and sell property or change investments. An ordinary power of attorney which only gives authority to deal with certain matters is also known as a limited power of attorney.

This is a legal document giving someone else authority to act on your behalf. It is only valid while you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions about your finances, so that you can keep an eye on what the person making decisions for you (your attorney) is doing.

There is a standard form of words to use if you want to grant an ordinary power of attorney. If you want to grant an ordinary power of attorney, you should contact a solicitor or an experienced adviser e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, click on nearest CAB.

How to make a lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf, if either you’re unable to in the future or you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.

You must make a lasting power of attorney whilst you’re still able to make decisions for yourself. You should choose the person (or people) who you want to look after your affairs very carefully. The person you choose to look after your affairs is called an attorney. You can appoint one person or multiple people to handle your affairs jointly.

There are 2 types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

1) Personal health & welfare LPA

2) Property and financial affairs LPA

You will need to fill in a form, which you can get from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.  There is one form for a property and financial affairs LPA (LPA PA) and a different form for a personal health & welfare LPA (LPA PW). If you want someone to look after your financial affairs and your personal welfare, you will need to make two separate LPAs and fill in both forms.

There are notes which come with the forms which tell you exactly what to do. You should read these very carefully.

Registering an enduring power of attorney

An enduring power of attorney deals only with property and affairs. Enduring powers of attorney (EPA) has been replaced by lasting power of attorney (LPA). However, if you made and signed an EPA before 1 October 2007, it’s still valid.

To continue using an EPA after someone has lost their mental capacity, the EPA must first be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The EPA must be registered by the person who will be managing someone else’s affairs (the attorney). Before you register the EPA, you must notify certain people that you are going to register it. This is done on a form which you must send to all the following people:

  • the person whose affairs you are going to manage (the donor)
  • any other attorneys if there are more than one
  • At least three of the donor’s nearest relatives.

Once you have given this notice, you can apply to register the EPA on form EP2PG to the Office of the Public Guardian. There is a registration fee, although some people won’t have to pay it. You can find out the latest information about fees from the Ministry of Justice website at www.justice.gov.uk.

If you or a family member want to set up a power of attorney we recommend that you take legal advice and also start the process well in advance as it can take a few months to get this set up.   As this is a big and serious commitment; More Than Mobility would advise that you read through this information on the Citizen’s Advice Website.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com

Adapting Your Home For Mobility

Monday, September 7th, 2015 by morethan

Adapting your home can positively impact on someone’s quality of life. It can also provide a measure of assurance for safety if you or a family member is disabled or have issues with mobility.

As many of our More Than Mobility customers suffer from mobility issues we have highlighted some of the key alterations to make a home suitable for someone with a disability or limited mobility:

  • Doorways – Make doorways and passageways wider if you need to use a wheelchair or powerchair
  • Grab Rails – Install grab bars and rails to assist with balance when moving around the house
  • Household Mechanisms – Move household mechanisms such as electrical outlets, light switches and door knobs to more accessible heights
  • Bathroom – Adapt a bathroom, by raising the toilet, adding a toilet back-rest, or putting a bath lift or hoist in for the bath
  • Ground Floor Rooms – Create easy access to bathroom or bedroom facilities at ground-floor level
  • Ramps – Install ramps to avoid the need to use steps
  • Paths – Ensure that external paths to the your home – such as paths or drives – have a firm, level surface
  • Stair lifts – Install stair lifts or elevators to aid travel from one floor to another
  • Chair & Bed Raisers – Invest in specialist furniture such as a rise and recline chair or electric adjustable bed
  • Alert Devices – Install alert devices, designed for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing

Some adaptations are quick and relatively cheap to do while others may take a bit more time, saving and planning. We therefore recommend to plan ahead so that when the time comes you are not having to make a decision in a rush.

These mobility products cater for all kinds of mobility related issues. By understanding the disability and the particular physical challenges associated, you can identify and prioritise what products you will need.

Arthritis – arthritis causes joint inflammation that induces painful movement for the sufferer. Ideal products to include in your home adaptation would be raised rise and recline chairs to limit strain on the joints from constantly standing and sitting. Another example would be replacing any fiddly knobs or switches with larger, more easily accessible buttons to minimise joint movement in the hands.

Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis weakens bones and increases the likelihood of bones breaking. It is vital that measures are taken to support mobility around the house with products such as stair lifts.

Loss of hearing and/or sight – Loss of hearing and sight can make a significant impact on your loved one’s independence — both mentally and physically. Adding hand rails to your home will assist those suffering from loss of sight, as they will act as guides around the home and assist in building familiarity with their environment. For those with loss of hearing, there are special alert devices that use vibrations to notify the user when there are visitors at the door etc.

Parkinson’s – Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease that causes loss of dopamine-generating cells in the brain. The brains inability to properly function without these vital cells produces symptoms such as tremors, rigidity and slow movement. Slow and limited mobility is frustrating to the patient, so by investing in products such as shower chairs, grab bars and non-skid mats they will feel more in control in their day-to-day tasks.

Here at More Than Mobility we can help with providing mobility products to adapt your home and also can provideservices such as bathroom adaptations and stair lift installations.  Do visit our website or call us on 0800 046 3949 for advice and to obtain a free quote.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com

Useful Tips For Buying a W.A.V (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle)

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 by morethan

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) are cars that have been converted to carry passengers travelling in their wheelchair or for people who wish to drive from a wheelchair. WAVs include features such as a built-in ramp, or lifts on larger vehicles, wheelchair tie-downs and seat belts for wheelchair users to aid entrance into the WAV.

There are two types of WAVs: a passenger WAV, which allows one or more passengers to be seated in their wheelchair whilst travelling, or a WAV that a wheelchair user can drive. If you would like to drive from your wheelchair, you will need to have the WAV fitted with custom controls and other features to enable you to drive independently. You may also need to make sure that your access point is carefully designed and does not require help from a companion should you wish to drive on your own.

Many of our More Than Mobility customers have a WAV so we have put together some useful tips to help you if you are looking to buy a WAV this autumn.

1)    Find a dealer – select a reputable dealer by reputation, recommendation or research.

2)    Ask questions – try to ask sensible questions that will enable you to base. Your decisions on facts. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever you like and only stop when all of your concerns have been properly addressed.

3)    Do your homework – if you know you’re preparing to make any major purchase, start asking around friends and family for their tips, advice and recommendations or use brochures or the internet beforehand to help determine exactly what you want and whether it’s within your budget. You should start to construct a list of features that matter to you and if compromises might be acceptable if your budget doesn’t stretch far enough to incorporate them all.

4)    Go on a Test Drive – make sure you try out any WAV before buying and it’s a good idea to try more than one model.

What should I look out for?

Entry Configurations

There are two types of entry configurations: side-entry and rear-entry. The entry location impacts wheelchair position, parking options, the ability to accommodate other passengers, and storage availability.

Side-Entry

Advantages of a side-entry configuration include: ability to drive from a wheelchair or sit in the front passenger position in a wheelchair or driver position; enter and exit curb side away from traffic; and preserve rear storage space. Disadvantages of this style are that it requires a disabled parking space or extra room for ramp deployment and that some driveways are not wide enough to accommodate the vehicle.

Rear-Entry

A rear-entry configuration can be used for attended applications in which the wheelchair occupant is not driving the vehicle but rather riding as a passenger. One advantage of a rear-entry vehicle is that, with the exception of parallel parking, no extra room is required for a ramp and the side passenger doors aren’t blocked if a folding-style ramp is installed.

Types of Access

Ramps

Ramp based modifications are most commonly performed on minivans. In order to provide access for the wheelchair user, the floor on side-entry vehicles is lowered 8-12″.

Fold up (or In-Floor) Ramps

Fold-up ramps fold in half and stow upright next to the side passenger door in a side-entry configuration or inside the rear access doors in a rear-entry configuration.

Motorized Ramps

Manual ramps cost less both to purchase and to maintain, but power wheelchair ramps are the most popular because of their ease and convenience.

Platform Lifts

Full size vans can be fitted with lifts in the form of a platform that can be raised and lowered from a control inside the vehicle down to the ground outside.

Crane Lifts

Other crane type lifts are combined with seats that turn and lower to the ground as a means of providing wheelchair access to some types of vehicles.

The Salesperson

Make the salesperson earns their money! They have huge experience and should help to guide you through the different ideas and innovations on offer.

When making the final decision here are a list of questions we recommend you consider before spending your money:

  • Am I comfortable enough getting in and out of the vehicle?
  • Does the vehicle (and conversion) include all of the features you would like? (Remember, you might have to live with it for years.)
  • Does the vehicle have enough room for my needs? (Does all of your usual kit fit in or does it feel cramped or claustrophobic?)
  • Will all the people I usually travel with fit into the vehicle?
  • Are all the seating positions to my liking? (Are the seat configurations flexible for different circumstances?)
  • Is there ample room for luggage?
  • Will this vehicle fit in my normal parking space/garage?

For more information on buying a WAV you can visit Rica who have more advice and support available.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility

www.morethanmobility.com