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Remaining Independent

Helping someone remain independent and at home

There are a number of things you can do to help someone remain independent in their own home.  To help you decide which options are suitable for your situation, a chart has been created listing the different options available. 
If you need any help going through this process then please contact Carers in Bedfordshire on 0300 111 1919 and we will be happy to help.

There are a number of things you can do to help someone remain independent in their own home.  To help you decide which options are suitable for your situation, a chart has been created listing the different options available. 
If you need any help going through this process then please contact Carers in Bedfordshire on 0300 111 1919 and we will be happy to help.

Needs & Carers Assessments

If the person you care for is having trouble taking care of themselves then you can ask the local council for a Needs Assessment to see what is available to support them.  Whilst you are requesting a Needs Assessment you can also ask for a Carers Assessment for you.  If the person you are caring for does not want a Needs assessment you can still request a Carers Assessment for yourself. 

The council will carry out a financial assessment at the same time to see how any costs will be paid for. 

The council will either provide support or signpost you to organisations that can help.  If you have had a Needs and/or Carers Assessment in the past you can apply for another one if you feel your circumstances have changed.

Bedford Borough CouncilNeeds AssessmentCarers Assessment
Central Bedfordshire CouncilNeeds AssessmentCarers Assessment

Home Adaptations

Age UK gives a number of ideas on how to adapt a home.  The local councils can help with any major adaptations that might be needed (subject to eligibility).  See Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council.  Age UK Bedfordshire offers a handyperson service  to help with small DIY jobs. 

If you are concerned about a person’s safety in the home you might find that Telecare will provide peace of mind. To read more

It might be a good idea to put up a key safe outside the front door in case the person you care for cannot come to the front door.  Age UK Bedfordshire supply and fit key safes (there is a cost). Contact on 01234 360 510.

If you are worried about home security, then contact the Bobby Scheme on 01234 842 619.  They will carry out a home visit and make recommendations on how to improve the security of a home.

Bin Collections

If putting out bins for roadside collection is an issue, then you can arrange for the local councils to do this. 

Contact Bedford Borough Council on 01234 267 422 or Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 8302.

Moving House

Another way of helping someone remain independent and at home is to move to more suitable accommodation.  Age UK’s Housing Options looks at the different options that are available.

Helping Hands

There are many Good Neighbour Schemes throughout the county.  Run by volunteers they may be able to help with shopping or with transport to a doctor’s appointment, collecting prescriptions and other small tasks.  To find out if this service would suit, then please ask to speak to a Support Worker at Carers in Bedfordshire

Age UK Bedfordshire also run a Home Help and Gardening Service for those aged 50 or over.  They will help with housework, shopping or prescription collection.  Contact on 01234 360 510.

In Bedford Borough, the Older Person Visiting Support (Places for People) can help those aged over 60 with housing-related support needs, support independent living and social inclusion.  Contact on 07484 001 674.

The village and community agents from BRCC can also help identify ways to help keep someone independent at home.  They cover Biggleswade and Potton, the villages in Bedford Borough and these areas of Bedford: Caudwell, London Road, Putnoe.  Ring 0800 039 1234 to request support.

If the person you care for needs help with personal care, then you might want to consider hiring Care Workers to help with this.  If you have had a Needs and/or Carers Assessment this might have already been discussed.

To find local care providers, the Luton and Bedfordshire Care Directory contains the latest information.

Help with Shopping and Cooking

There are a number of options available if the person you care for is struggling with shopping and cooking. 

Not able to go shopping? Consider online shopping.  The main supermarkets provide online shopping in Bedfordshire.  There is usually a charge for the delivery.   If you would like to learn how to do this, then Carers in Bedfordshire has IT trainers who would be happy to help.  Contact us on 0300 111 1919 to book a tutorial. 

The Good Neighbour Schemes might be able to offer help with shopping, contact Carers in Bedfordshire on 0300 111 1919 for more detailsAge UK Bedfordshire  (01234 360 510) also offer help with shopping.

Not able to cook a meal, consider frozen prepared meals from supermarkets, Oakhouse Foods, or Wiltshire Farm Foods.

Struggling to use an oven or microwave, Apetito provides a “Meals on Wheels” service in Bedfordshire.   Depending on eligibility the local council might contribute to the cost of this service.   To see if you are eligible to receive a frozen or hot delivered meal in your home, contact
Bedford Borough Adult Social Care Service
Older People’s Team – 01234 276 094
Central Bedfordshire Council
0300 300 8303

The Reablement team might be able to help with strategies on how to remain independent in the kitchen.
Bedford Borough Council 01234 718 333
Central Bedfordshire Council 0300 300 7303

Medication

If the person you are caring for struggles to regularly take their medication, you can request a single-use foil dispenser from the pharmacist so they know what they should be taken at different times of the day.  You can also get a pill dispenser from Smarta Healthcare which will notify you if the medication is not taken at the correct time.  Increasingly pharmacists will deliver your prescription to your home.  Make sure that you ask your local pharmacy if this service is available.

Cheeseman’s Pharmacy of Ampthill 01525 402 173
Superdrug Chemist
Smarta Healthcare 01234 831 768

Transport

If transport is an issue, then there are many community transport schemes throughout Bedfordshire.  These provide people who have a disability and cannot make use of public transport.  The scheme can be used for trips to doctors, shops, visiting friends and family.  To find out more contact the relevant scheme in your area.

Bedford Borough – Door to Door – 01234 832 611.  For medical appointments 01234 837 933
Ivel Valley & West Mid Beds – Link a Ride – 01525 840 511
South Beds – Dial a Ride – 01525 220 044
Leighton Buzzard to Worburn and the villages in between – Buzzer Buses - 01525 853 566
Mid Beds – Flittabus Community Transport – 07960 388 111
Greensand County – Community Transport – 01234 834 833

Transport to hospitals or health clinics.

Good Neighbour schemes also offer to help with trips to doctor’s appointments or hospital visits.  Please contact Carers in Bedfordshire 0300 111 1919 for more details.

Non-emergency NHS medical transport
Accessible transport to NHS Hospital appointments or other health clinics in Bedfordshire, Luton or Hertfordshire
East of England Ambulance Service 0208 045 4254

Leighton Buzzard Voluntary Patient Transport (LBVPT)
Transport to hospital appointments at L&D, Milton Keynes, Stoke Mandeville, Bedford, High Wycombe & Amersham 07873 497 633 www.lbvpt.co.uk

Lister Hospital Health Shuttle
Covers Arlesley, Clifton, Stotfold, Henlow, Shefford, Stondon & Shillington
Monday to Friday
01438 726 219

Social Isolation

People with a disability or illness might find themselves isolated and having to rely heavily on family members for social contact.  However, there are plenty of social groups throughout Bedfordshire for people to use.

To help you find the right groups for the person you care for in Central Bedfordshire contact Advice Central on 0300 303 666.  In Bedford Borough,BRCC (0800 039 1234) have village agents who can help people become re-connected in their local community.  They support people living in the surrounding villages and **** in Bedford.  Carers in Bedfordshire can also signpost you to local groups in your area.

Befriending Services

If the person cannot get out of their own home then you might want to consider befriending services, either face to face or over the telephone.

Age UK Bedfordshire – Telephone Befriending  for those over 50 living in Bedfordshire – 01234 360 510
Age UK Bedfordshire-  Carers Respite Service -
Carers in Bedfordshire – Befriending service for people living with dementia
Good Neighbours Schemes also offer a befriending service.  Contact Carers in Bedfordshire for further details.

There are some national charities which offer befriending services
Silver Line –  friendship calls
Independent Age – Friendship services
Age UK – Friendship calls for the over 60s

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