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Staying independent

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

Information about support and equipment to help you to stay independent and living in your home and community. This includes information about grants, the handy person service, Telecare and preventing falls.

Short term support

“Why not home, why not today?”

Sometimes it can be hard getting back to yourself following a stay in hospital, experiencing an illness or loss of mobility.  The Home First service is a time-limited, short-term service that can enable you to stay well at home and regain or retain your independence.

The service provides a personalised programme of support, tailored to your individual goals, working on your strengths to enable you to get back to independent living. This may include elements of:

  • rehabilitation to help you regain your physical strength
  • reablement to help you regain daily living skills and confidence to live independently in your own home.

Home First will support you to maintain the ability to live in your own home independently, connected to your community and able to reach your full potential. This might be through physical recovery after a period of illness or injury, supporting you with finances so you are able to stay living at home, or accessing work or voluntary opportunities.

To contact Home First, please follow the referral process by contacting us on 01724 297000.

Home First Short Stay – Sir John Mason House – is a short term, intensive rehabilitation centre

Home First Community is a provides short term, intensive rehabilitation in a person’s own home, or place of their choice.

Adaptations are items and equipment for around your home and garden to make daily life easier. It may be that you need help getting up and down stairs or generally moving around.

Adaptations can be large items such as stair-lifts or more simple products such as handrails to help with mobility, or seat raisers for toilets, for example. They can also be electronic equipment, such as alarms to alert carers that you require help.

Who can help?

An occupational therapist can advise you of the most appropriate equipment and adaptations to suit your needs. You can ask your general practitioner, nurse or other health or social care worker to refer you to the occupational therapy service, or you can contact them yourself.

Their contact numbers are different depending on where you live:

  • Scunthorpe West Network Team (anything North of Queensway, including Frodingham Road and the Isle of Axholme) – 03033 306802
  • Scunthorpe South Network Team (anything South of Queensway, up to Messingham and everything in-between including Kirton Lindsey and Hibaldstow) – 03033 306804
  • East Network Team (Broughton to Killingholme and everything in-between) – 01724 298180

If you need information about funding any improvements, please visit the housing standards and funding for home improvements page.

The NHS also provides support and information for people with vision impairments and hearing loss, as well as an extensive guide of services within the North Lincolnshire area, who specialise in aiding those with sensory impairments.

You may find that some equipment you can buy yourself can help make life easier. AskSARA is an award-winning online self-help guide providing expert advice and information on products and equipment for older and disabled people. It provides impartial advice on equipment to help make daily living easier.

For further discussions please see the Independent Living Service details below.

North Lincolnshire’s Independent Living Service provides information, advice and guidance to enable you to remain independent in your own home and stay well connected in your community.

This service is open to everyone who may benefit from assistive technology. We work to support you to find practical solutions to help with daily living needs. The conversation will focus on daily living tasks to identify needs and strength-based solutions where equipment may be able to assist.

Information can be provided on local organisations from where you may be able to purchase equipment and/or assistive technology which will safely meet your needs.

The Independent Living Service provides opportunities to access and explore technology solutions including Telecare and digital solutions such as voice activated virtual assistants such as Amazon’s ‘Alexa’. We can support by guiding you through examples of useful support websites, such as online marketplaces, local groups and services available locally.

We can discuss with you the types of non specialist housing adaptations and signpost you to further services where appropriate.

Assistive Technology is offered as part of the Home First rehabilitation and reablement service to support people leaving hospital or receiving intermediate care for a time limited period. There is no charge for rehabilitation and reablement support for up to six weeks, or until optimum independence is achieved, to help individuals regain their confidence and independence.

See also short term support section at the top of the page.

To contact the Independent Living Service, please call 01724 297000.

What is Telecare?

Telecare is the name given to electronic equipment which can support people to remain independent in their own homes.

Equipment can help someone feel safe and secure within their home and also offer family and carers peace of mind and reassurance.

An alarm or sensor can be worn by the person or placed around the home. This enables the person to directly seek help or, when a sensor is automatically triggered, alerts a call centre or an on site carer that the person requires assistance.

How does it work?

When an individual triggers their alarm or an automatic sensor raises an alert this will link directly to a 24 hour call centre. The call centre staff will be able to offer advice and reassurance and contact someone who is an identified responder and/or the emergency services to visit the person to offer support.

When can Telecare help?

There are lots of different types of equipment and many situations when Telecare can help. Examples include:

  • when someone feels vulnerable due to age, health issues, or disability
  • when someone lives alone and feels isolated
  • when someone is returning home from hospital or care
  • to offer reassurance and peace of mind to family and carers
  • when someone has a history of falls or is at risk of falling
  • when someone is at risk of wandering out of the home alone
  • when someone cannot react to emergencies within the house such as fire or floods
  • when someone is unable to react to changes in the environment – extreme changes in room temperature
  • when someone becomes ill
  • when someone has carers that need to be alerted within the same property
  • when someone wishes to develop their independence.

What Telecare equipment might help?

  • pendant alarm and lifeline box
  • bed and chair sensors
  • prompts and reminders
  • enuresis sensor (for those with continence problems)
  • falls detector
  • epilepsy sensor
  • home pager or Care Assist
  • property exit sensors
  • property security features
  • bogus caller button
  • environmental sensors.

Who is eligible to have Telecare installed?

Telecare equipment is offered as part of the Home First rehabilitation and reablement service to support people leaving hospital or receiving intermediate care for a time limited period. This service is free of charge up to six weeks to help individuals regain their confidence and independence.

If you are already eligible and receiving support with your care needs funded by North Lincolnshire Council, you can discuss Telecare with your allocated worker/team.

If you feel you require support with your care needs or telecare, you can request a care assessment.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for support, Telecare can be purchased privately through the Care Call Service.

Home care, or domiciliary care, is support provided in the person’s own home to allow them to stay independent for as long as possible. A home carer is paid to carry out this service and so should not be confused with a voluntary carer, such as a family member.

Home care often includes tasks such as:

  • Getting dressed
  • Help to use the toilet
  • Washing
  • Preparing or eating food and drink
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Getting out and about
  • Taking part in social activities

 

Accessing home care

There are several different ways of arranging home care:

  • Employ a Personal Assistant
  • Arrange your own care directly with a registered provider via the Care Quality Commission website
  • Contact the us to arrange an assessment to identify if you are eligible for care and support. If you are, we can help you to find a home carer.
  • It may be that you need some short-term help to get you back on your feet and live as independently as possible, for more information visit the Rehabilitation and Reablement page

Paying for home care

If you are arranging your own home care with a provider, you will have to pay their private rates; rates can vary between providers.

If you are eligible for help with your care and support, you may also be eligible for help towards the costs of your care. A financial assessment will be arranged.  This is to assess how much you may have to pay towards the cost of these services.

The financial assessment will look at your income, spending, including disability related expenditure, savings and benefits you receive.

Find out more about paying for your community based services.

Why should we be interested in falls?

Around 30 per cent of over 65s in North Lincolnshire living at home will fall each year. This rises to 50 per cent of those aged 80 living at home or in care homes. Of these falls, 20 per cent will require medical attention.

Six per cent of falls amongst the over 65s result in a fracture, including one per cent hip fractures.

There were over 500 emergency admissions to hospital for hip fractures as a result of a fall in 2013/14 in North Lincolnshire; this is in addition to emergency admissions for other injuries caused by falls.

Home Hazards

  • Keep home free of clutter and make sure there are no trailing wires
  • Be aware of tripping hazards such as rugs and pets
  • Be aware of uneven floors
  • Consider using a slip proof mat in the bath and shower
  • Ensure lighting is sufficient to see
  • Wipe up spills straight away
  • Avoid walking on slippery floors in socks or tights
  • Don’t rush to answer the door or telephone, consider getting a portable or mobile telephone

Feet and Footwear

  • Wear properly fitting shoes and slippers with non skid soles
  • Replace slippers and shoes that have stretched and are too loose
  • Look after your feet taking care to trim your toenails and see a chiropodist / podiatrist about any foot problems. Podiatry Services can be accessed in the Community Wellbeing Hubs.

Keep Moving

Doing regular exercise such as walking, Pilates and Tai Chi can improve your strength and balance, reducing your risk of falling.

Local leisure centres and Community Hubs can offer supervised walks and training programmes for older people.

General Health

High blood pressure can cause dizziness, increasing the risk of falling. If you are experiencing dizziness visit your GP for a blood pressure check.

It is important to keep a check on your health; if you are in the 40-74 age group and don’t have a pre-existing health condition such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Disease
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease and Atrial Fibrillation
  • High blood pressure, or
  • High cholesterol

you can have a free mid life MOT. The NHS Health Check can help you prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, stroke, heart and kidney disease and dementia.

Medication and Alcohol

If you have been taking medication your GP or practice nurse will review these every year to ensure that they are still right for you, and if not may stop them or recommend a lower dose, particularly if they have side effects which increase your chance of falling. A review of your medication is particularly important if you are taking four or more different medications a day.

It is important to store your medications in a well lit area and to make sure they are clearly labelled.

Avoid drinking alcohol as this can increase your risk of falling and can also contribute to osteoporosis.

Sight and hearing

If you think your poor vision is increasing your risk of falls, even when wearing glasses, make an appointment to have a sight test.

Having your ears checked regularly could help prevent dizzy spells and poor balance which can also lead to falls.

When to get help from a health professional

If you have fallen before, have poor balance or mobility, or feel you are at risk of falls, you may need to be assessed by a health professional. For help on how to be referred contact your nearest Network Team directly:

  • Scunthorpe West Network Team (anything North of Queensway, including Frodingham Road and the Isle of Axholme) – 03033 306802
  • Scunthorpe South Network Team (anything South of Queensway, up to Messingham and everything in-between including Kirton Lindsey and Hibaldstow) – 03033 306804
  • East Network Team (Broughton to Killingholme and everything in-between) – 01724 298180

The handyperson service can carry out minor repairs, improvements to help you access your property, such as ramps and small works such as fitting curtain rails.

Funding for repairs or improvements

Home Grants are a type of financial assistance that are available from the Council for disabled people to adapt their homes, and for people to ensure they are living in a home which is safe and free from any hazards. We prioritise those who most need assistance due to age, vulnerability, and those with certain health conditions. To read more about the conditions and details of the grants, see the housing standards, improvements, grants and loans page.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) help pay for adaptations to your home in order to help you live more independently.

The grant only provides funding for necessary and appropriate adaptations that are needed to meet the needs of the disabled person, and those which are reasonable, taking into consideration the age and condition of the property. For example, it would not fund adaptations you do not need, nor would it fund adaptations that could result in damage to the property. The kind of adaptations it can fund include (but are not limited to) things such as stair lifts, access ramps, access to bathing facilities, and heating and lighting controls.  See the  housing standards, improvements, grants and loans page for further information.

Home Appreciation Loan

The council can also provide a loan between £2,000 and £10,000 to help people with the cost of works that impact their health or safety. You only have to repay the loan when you no longer own your home, for example, when you sell it. If you wish to apply for home assistance, you can visit the home appreciation section.

Loans for minor works

The Home Cheque Loan is a loan between £500 and £2,000 to carry out minor works, such as to replace faulty boilers. The loan is available to vulnerable home-owners, or tenants who have the responsibility to maintain their home, such as elderly people, or people on low income or in poor health. This loan is re-payable; however, it has a lower interest rate than with other lenders for similar amounts. See the  housing standards, improvements, grants and loans page for further information.