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Support For Older People

Brighton & Hove's Older People's Council acts to ensure that
(i) the contribution of all older people in our city is acknowledged and valued,

(ii) all older people in Brighton & Hove are treated with respect and dignity and have access to services, support and opportunity to lead a fulfilling life. Click here for more information on what The Older People's Council does.

Support Groups for Older People in Brighton and Hove

A Wednesday lunch club for the over-60's runs between 12.30 and 14.30pm at Stanford Avenue Methodist Church situated at the junction of Standord Avenue and Southdown Avenue: see their calendar.  

Click here for a list of 25 lunch clubs in Brighton and Hove.

Age UK Brighton & Hove www.ageuk.org.uk/brightonandhove offers a number of services:

1. Help At Home service for older people who are on a low income, have a degree of mobility and only require basic domestic or gardening help.

2. Crisis Service - if you find yourself suddenly ill in bed, if you are recovering from a bereavement, or are home from hospital after being discharged.


3. Computer drop-in service based near Seven Dials provided FREE for those aged 50 or over.

4. Nail Cutting Service available to those who have: impaired eyesight, reduced mobility because of arthritic changes, or an inability to reach their feet for physical or medical reasons.

5. A number of products & types of insurance including 6. Information & Advice on issues including welfare benefits, legal help, care homes, money matters, consumer and utility bills.

7. Counselling (clients contribute between £2 and £25 per session) e.g.: loneliness, bereavement, depression or anxiety.

Care Quality Commission www.cqc.org.uk - checks all hospitals, dentists, care homes, domiciliary care services in England to ensure they are meeting government standards, and shares their findings with the public.

The Carers Centre The Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove is a local charity which exists to support anyone caring for a partner, relative or friend who needs help because of illness, disability, substance misuse or old age. The Carers Centre was originally established in 1988 as a drop-in centre in Hove. Since then we have expanded to cover Brighton & Hove. We have a team of twenty full and part-time staff, the majority of whom offer direct support to carers.

Brighton and Hove City Council (a) Help for people over 65 years old

(b) Search for Care Homes by address, star rating or category of care home. Each home has its own page which contains useful information such as contact details of the home, a map function to show the location of the home and most importantly a star rating and links to the relevant inspection reports.

(c) Are you entitled to help from Adult Social Care services?

(d) Quick Guide To Adult Social Care services

(e) Support for Carers

(f) Quick Guide for Carers

(g) Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove (Tel: 01273 234045 Email: info@thecarerscentre.org) offers a range of services to support carers.

(h) Equipment & Aids for Daily Living - Occupational Therapy Services to people of all ages who have a physical disability living in Brighton & Hove

The Federation for Independent Living www.thefedonline.org.uk - provides advice and support services for disabled people living in Brighton and Hove

The Disabled Living Foundation www.asksara.org.uk AskSARA helps you find useful advice and products that make daily living easier.

Handyperson &/or Home adaptation Anchor Staying Put Tel: 01273 820895 - helping older people to remain active, safe and independent in their own homes.

Adaptation Team (Tel: 01273 293365) for alterations to your home, including ramps, handrails, doors, electrical sockets, and level access showers.

Transport & access Bus passes (Tel: 01273 291924) buspasses@brighton-hove.gov.uk - Free bus travel throughout Sussex for people aged 60+ and eligible disabled adults.

Easylink Community Transport provides accessible, safe and affordable transport to community groups, voluntary sector organisations and individuals with mobility difficulties. It offers a door-to-door service for disabled and older people, including wheelchair users who find it difficult or impossible to use the normal bus service. Their minibuses pick you up from your front door and return you back again. The drivers can carry your shopping to your front door. Return fares range from £3.50 to local supermarkets and £5 to £12 going further afield.

Taxi Voucher scheme (Tel: 01273 291924 or Minicom: 01273 291907) - for people unable to use public transport because of a disability.

British Red Cross (Tel: 01903 207191), Transport and escort service Door-to-door assistance for people who cannot get about easily or use public transport. Email: information@redcross

Motability Car scheme for disabled people (Tel: 0845 456 4566) Transfer your higher rate Disability Living Allowance in exchange for a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter on contract hire or hire purchase scheme.

Blue Badge Scheme (Tel: 01273 296270) - For disabled car parking permit.

Shopmobility - the hire of wheelchairs, electric mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs - is offered by the Centre for Independent Living, now known as “the Fed”.

Medical Equipment e.g. wheelchairs & crutches,Sussex Community NHS Trust is the main provider of NHS community health services across West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Their coverage includes the wheelchair and special seating service.

Minimising personal risks, panic alarms & Telecare The Occupational Therapy Service can be involved following a referral. Minimising risk can be achieved by creating better access within the home. This often involves the reduction of unnecessary furniture and general clutter as well as the removal of trip hazards such as bathroom rugs. Maintaining physical fitness also has a part to play, as better safety can also be acheived through good posture & balance when moving from A to B and sufficient muscle strength in ones legs to stop them giving way. A physiotherapist can assess an older person and advise on suitable exercises. Carers may then need to prompt their clients daily so that the exercises are not forgotten.

The Osteoporosis and Falls Prevention Service can advise on factors which carers may be able to change both in relation to living environment ( e.g. furniture, room layout, grab rails, useful mobility aids/bed attachments/sensors) and in relation to the health of the person experiencing frequent falls e.g. reviewing medication/body liquids/diet/physical exercise. Drowsiness or something (such as a urine infection) which can easily be treated may be contributing to weakness.

Carelink Plus (Tel: 01273 673105) - 24 hour personal alarm scheme if you live alone and are older, disabled or vulnerable. Email: carelinkplus@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Telecare - Personal risks can also be monitored, such as:
falling
seizures
bogus calls
forgetting medication

Free smoke alarms / Fire & Electrical Safety East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offer free smoke alarms and home fire safety visits to eligible homes across East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove.

Monitoring from another room e.g. at night [Please note that the following should not be used as substitutes for the lifeline/red button pendant which the person in your care could need to wear at all times to access help]

[circa £70] Wireless Care Alarm Kit with Large Bed Leaving Sensor Mat - includes a sensor mat, transmitter and pager (receiver). Ideal for monitoring an elderly patient who requires assistance when getting out of bed.The system alerts the carer immediately via the wireless portable pager that the person has left their bed. The Bed Sensor can be switched to alert when pressure is removed from the pad (when a person gets up out of their bed) or when pressure is applied to the pad (for instance if placed on the floor by the bed / under a door mat / at a doorway, and this is walked on.

[circa £46] Philips AVENT SCD510 DECT Baby Monitor - this unit can be used for monitoring a person of any age. A belt clip is also supplied with the portable cordless parent unit, allowing the carer to move freely around the house while remaining in touch with the person you are looking after.

[circa £19] 2 Station Wired Intercom with connecting cable Easy to operate and install, wired master/slave system. Carer can listen into any noise in the vicinity of the slave unit (placed in locations where a person may be at risk) by turning on the master unit. Someone in need of assistance can use the bell-push on the slave unit to buzz the master unit (while the latter is switched OFF). The carer can also hold in a button on the master unit to reverse the direction of the sounds so that they can talk to somebody requesting help. Same as the intercom used in the porches of many tall dwellings.

[circa £15] Twin 100 meter radius Home Remote Wireless Doorbell Door Bell Chime-UK Plug in type - the door bell may be mounted in a downstairs loo or on bedside or other furniture while the chimes can be plugged into mains sockets in rooms where people who can provide help are sleeping or working.

Equipment for use during powercuts www.geemarc.com sell a range of big-button and easy-to-use phones and mobiles suitable for people with loss of hearing and sight.

Portable battery (or mains powered) 12 LED lamp for maximum brightness

12 LED Wind Up Energy Saving Large Lantern more powerful than most wind-up torches, this can be used safely during powercuts in the absence of suitable battery operated lighting, avoiding the use of candles / fire risks.

Mobility equipment & furniture for people at risk of falling
Rollators and grab rails
www.essentialaids.com, a Brighton-based company, can supply wheeled walkers and related equipment such as grab rails.

A lightweight aluminium rollator with 8-inch wheels for outdoor use incorporating seat and basket kept my father mobile for some time. He used this one both indoors and outside the house. The aluminium metal was light enough for him to push and the wheels were large enough to turn easily. The seat proved invaluable when he got very tired.

Living-room layout needs to allow space for a rollator so that the brake cables do not get caught on drawer or cupboard door handles and the user can always go forwards without having to reverse out of cul-de-sacs or corners. Many older people have a tendency to lean back. Walking backwards with a rollator (something I had to discourage my dad from doing) involves the high probability of a fall.

Zimmer frames versus (or as well as) rollators
A zimmer frame (parked at the top of the stairs on the landing) might still be a useful additional aid to cover the final part of a journey to an upstairs bathroom.

However, the rollator generally proved more useful to my father than his two zimmer frames. Before he became more or less wheelchair bound, I would say that the rollator was his most useful walking aid.

With brakes on, the arms of the rollator were also very useful for my father to hold onto while getting up out of chairs. Finding him suitably high seats, which could swivel and fit under tables, proved a non-starter. His Occupational Therapist censured my search for a hairdesser's salon height adjustable chair with wooden arms, recommending instead that it was time to get him a wheelchair. For a while, it was still possible for him to use the rollator alongside the wheelchair, which became the seat he used at his dining table. By this time, it had become necessary to get him a dual-motor riser-recliner as his main living-room chair.

Riser-recliners
Try Riser Chair Studio Ltd Werks Central, 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton East Sussex BN1 1AL. should correspond with the measurement from the ground (sole of the user's foot) to the user's knee joint. Seat Depth can be an inch or two greater than the measurement from the back of the knee-joint to the user's posterior. The best person to give advice on size is an Occupational Therapist after taking the appropriate measurements. The usual sizes on offer are:
  • Large - Seat Height 49.5 cm (19.5”); Seat Depth 54 cm (21.25")
  • Medium - Seat Height - 47 cm (18.5”); The Seat Depth - 51 cm (20")
  • Small - Seat Height - 44 cm (17.5") / Seat Depth - 42 cm (16.5")

Protecting bedding without creating discomfort Washable bed pads - Kylies Double and Single sizes

Hippychick Mattress Protector Fitted Sheet - 140 x 190cm Double

Clothing for easy-removal &/or hot-wash cycles 'Black trousers' with side zip openings and Velcro fly are available from www.designedtocare.co.uk.

Side Elasticated Waist Pleat Front Trouser may be helpful for greater comfort and relatively easy removal. Try www.cottontraders.com. They also supply products such as 100% cotton pyjama pants and nightshirts which are Machine Washable at higher temperatures than those recommended for more delicate fabrics. Fully Machine Washable Brushed Cotton Mens Winter Pyjamas can also be obtained fairly cheaply at www.classicbritishstyles.co.uk

Disposable clothing, examination gloves and wipes A large range of disposable incontinence products, disposable incontinence pads, incontinence pants and shaped incontinence pads, is available from www.allaboutincontinence.co.uk.

Sight and hearing loss
Eyes:
Any UK citizen over 60 is entitled to a free NHS eye-test every two years. Persons who find it hard to get around, whether through age or disability, can get their free eye-tests done by a visiting optician.

Eyes at Home (Free phone 0800-3457509; Mobile 07748 020315; Email: Optician@eyesathome.co.uk) is a Hove-based service providing a Home Visiting Community Optician for residents throughout East & West Sussex. Those aged 60 or over, who have difficulty in getting to an optician through illness or disability, are entitled to a free NHS sight test and may be entitled to help towards the cost of spectacles.

City Synergy: Social activities for people with sight loss

Hearing:
Sussex Hearing Centre (Phone 01243-872000 or e-mail info@sussexhearingcentres.co.uk to arrange an appointment) provides a comprehensive hearing service in the comfort of your own home and FREE Hearing tests & hearing aid assessments by fully qualified and registered hearing aid audiologists.

Sussex Deaf Association Tel: 01273 671899 - provides advocacy, benefit, welfare advice, communication support, and social facilities.

What to do when someone dies There is a useful guide from GOV.UK at www.gov.uk/after-a-death/print

This page was last updated by Ted on 10-Sep-2017
(registered users can amend this page)