Independent Living Today by fjzhxb


									Independent Living Today
Welcome to a special autumn / winter edition of our newsletter, keeping you informed about issues and developments within services aimed at helping people maintain their independence.

Highlights of today’s Newsletter include:
Independent Living Fund Cold Weather Advice Scooter Update Directory of Services Personalisation update Hints, Tips and Ideas 1. The Independent Living Fund
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) is a government fund that is available for disabled people to live independently in their own home. Money from the Fund is used to top up local authority care packages. Money from the Fund can be used for things such as bathing, washing, cleaning , laundry , cooking and other personal tasks. Payments from the ILF will not affect any Social Security Benefits that you receive. In Stockton 55 people receive payments totalling nearly £14,000 per week. Billy Park Welfare Rights Team Manager said “ the money received from the fund can enhance the quality of life for those people receiving it. In Stockton weekly payments range from £33 and £465 for clients. As well as assisting those people who receive money it equates to nearly £750,000 of inward investment into the local economy. “If you require further information about the Fund please contact Billy on Stockton 526226



Cold Weather Advice

Be Prepared! Its that time of year again – the nights are drawing in and its getting chilly. Staying warm through the winter months is vitally important to everyone but more so for the very young and old, and for people with certain illnesses. Below is a list of useful precautions to get you prepared before the cold weather really sets in, for instance:            Wear more layers of loose fitting clothes which will help trap body heat; if you do go outside wear a hat and gloves Eat a well balanced diet with at least 1 warm meal a day Try to stay active – weather permitting have a walk outside, even the shortest rays of winter sunshine can make you feel more cheerful, and it will give your circulation a boost. If the weather is too bad a little light housework will soon help to warm you up! Stock up on non-perishable food in case snow / icy conditions prevent you getting out for a few days Have a stock of candles and matches and if possible a wind up torch and radio in case of power cuts Have a good supply of your medication Be a good neighbour and if you are worried about a neighbour please call … Don‟t keep old pets outside too long - they feel the cold too Keep anything flammable, and children away from fires, and don‟t sit too close so the heat can circulate around the room Keep curtains tucked behind radiators so all warm air stays in the room If you haven‟t already then have your loft and cavity walls insulated, not only will it keep your home warmer it could reduce your heating costs. If you are over 70 or receiving benefits you may get the work done free of charge, ring Stockton Borough Council Environmental Projects team on 01642 528215 who can advise you; or Call a Warm Front Advisor free on 0800 316 2814 to see if you are eligible for a grant Check the weather advice on the TV / radio / papers and follow any advice given by the emergency services Make sure your home is adequately insured to cover any disasters such as burst pipes – and know how to turn off your water, electricity and gas supplies

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The Department of Health has issued a guide „Keep Warm – Keep Well‟ which offers advice on how to keep you warm. The leaflet also includes details on a number of key organisations offering practical solutions financial assistance and safety advice – for a copy of this please telephone 020 7210 4850 or text-phone 020 7210 5025. Stay warm and stay well and just think - it will soon be Spring! (Many thanks to Lynn Vaines, Project Officer Independent Living, for this article)

3. Scooter Update
Stockton Borough Council is working to promote safe use of Mobility Scooters in our area. A recent survey identified that 84% of respondents thought that more guidance was needed regarding the safe use of scooters as very little is currently available, 88% thought that more information and guidance would result in more safe use of scooters. 68% were not aware that to drive a scooter on the roads they needed to be registered with the DVLA or face a fine. 68% 2

were not aware that without insurance, if they were involved in an accident they could get sued for compensation for injury or repairs, 96% agreed that scooter users should receive an assessment to ensure they are safe, and 100% agreed that scooter users should receive training and advice before taking a scooter out for the first time. Worryingly, 2 people said they thought scooters had right of way on pavements and shopping areas, and 3 people thought that scooters had right of way on roads. It is clear from these responses that Stockton Borough Council needs to look at the use of scooters in more detail, and develop some clear guidelines, training and assessment opportunities. Stockton Independent Living Centre (SILC) is developing a mini Scooter Assessment Clinic. This means that if you are interested in buying a scooter, you can try one before you buy one, and receive training and advice about which machine is best for you. There will be a scooter for you take on a test run and a specially designed obstacle course so that you can get a feel for the machine. In addition to this, you can receive a free assessment, to check your vision and reflexes – this will give you peace of mind that you will be safe to drive a scooter on our busy roads, pavements and shopping precincts. Longer term we are hoping to develop a Registration Scheme in Stockton. In addition, a Driving Assessment Clinic is being developed in Thornaby, and this will be coming in the New Year. The services are also available for people who already own a scooter and who would like the reassurance that they are driving as safely as possible. These developments will also offer great peace of mind to carers of someone, a friend or relative, who is either hoping to purchase a scooter, or already using one. Lastly, work is continuing on the production of a Stockton Borough Council Guidance Manual for Mobility Scooter Users, giving full details of what to consider when buying a scooter, the different models available and some basic safety tips and information. For more information about any of the developments, including a free assessment, training, or copy of the Guidance when it is released, please email or contact SILC on 01642 524750.

4. Directory of Services
The Independent Living Portfolio is ever expanding and many people may not be fully aware of the range of services now available. Stockton Borough Council holds contracts with a range of services, many of which can be found on then click on “I” for Independent Living and the icon “Independent Living Services” to the left. Below is a list detailing the services available, how to access them and who to contact for more information. In addition, please see then click on “S” for Supporting People to see the Supporting People Directory, the full range of Supporting People Services, or email for more information.

Service Alzheimers Society Avalon

What it offers Support and advice to carers of people affected by dementia. Sitting service to look after clients to allow their carers time to attend appointments, go shopping, have a night out etc Support, information, transcription and social activities for people with visual impairments Support and advice for carers of people affected by drug or alcohol misuse Provides educational and recreational courses for carers of people affected by dementia. Provides support to elderly carers

How to Access Tel: 01642 655638 Directly

Who to Contact Gail Walker – Dementia Link Worker Ann Matthews Avalon, Lysander House, Falcon Court, Preston Farm Industrial Estate, Stockton on Tees TS18 3TX Tel: 01642 633556

Blindvoice UK


Christine Durnion, Blindvoice UK, 27 Yarm Road, Stockton, telephone 01642 803590 or email



Alison Perry PANIC 5 Nelson Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees TS19 1NJ. Tel: 01642 605222 David Marley Cleveland Alzheimers Residential Centre, Radcliff Crescent, Thornaby, Stockton on Tees TS17 6BS. Tel: 01642 611110



Elderly Frail and Older Carers Group George Hardwick Foundation Hindu Cultural Society

Contact via Stockton Carers Centres Walk in or telephone

Carers Centre, North Tees (Inside North Tees Hospital Tel: 0845 3025524 Carers Centre, 23-27b Bishopton Lane Tel: 0845 3025523

Provides advice and support to carers on all aspects of caring

Walk in or telephone.

Carers Centre, North Tees (Inside North Tees Hospital Tel: 0845 3025524 Carers Centre, 23-27b Bishopton Lane Tel: 0845 3025523 Mr Krishnan Nath – President Mr S Mistry – Secretary Hindu Cultural Society 54 Westbourne Grove, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough TS3 6EFTel: 01642 218428

Provides advice and support to promote social inclusion and healthy living. Day service for senior citizens five days a week. Support for carers within the Hindu community. Information, advice and support, a Disability Information Officer, specialist OTs, a range of equipment to try before you buy including hoists, Telecare and stairlifts, and a Stroke Drop-in.


Stockton Independent Living Centre


Located at the rear of Tithebarn in Hardwick, please contact Viv Chadwick on 01642 524750


Stockton Shopmobility Ltd Stroke Association Family/Carer Support Stroke Drop in

Mobility equipment to hire or buy, including wheelchairs, scooters and frames.


3-5 Bridge Road, Stockton TS18 1BH or telephone 01642 605676, email or visit

Support, information and advice for patients of stroke and their families.

Via the community stroke team or GP.

Trevor Newlove, 01642 679018 or the Stroke ward at the University Hospital of North Tees

Support, information and advice, plus social activities including gentle exercise and gardening in relaxed and informal surroundings Provides counselling to people with a physical disability, chronic illness or carers of such people. Also specialise in behavioural and emotional difficulties children and young people encounter brought on by a wide range of circumstances. Social Centre, computer training and Home Befriending service for people with a visual impairment

Directly, or via the community stroke team, GP or care manager

Viv Chadwick on 01642 524750

Tees Valley Counselling Trust


TVCT, Norton Community Centre, 58-60 Somerset Road, Stockton TS20 2 Tel: 01642 654555


Teesside and District Society for the Blind Teesside Ability Support Centre Telecare

Directly, or via care manager, GP or community nurse

TSB Stockton Road, Middlesbrough TS5 4AH Tel 01642 257418

Day Care for people with cerebral palsy and associated disabilities. Includes life skills training, social enterprises and adult education opportunities. Assistive Technology –sensors (eg falls, inactivity, etc) linked to a call centre for an immediate response in the case of an emergency

Referral via care manager.

TASC, Acklam Road, Middlesbrough TS5 4EG tel 01642 818854 Email

Can self-fund, or via referral by your care manager, community nurse or GP.

Care Call, Surveillance Centre, The Square, Stockton TS18 1TE Tel 01642 528438 or email



Personalisation Update

Personal Health Budget pilot for Stockton-on-Tees. The Department of Health have recently launched a pilot for Personal Health Budgets. Stockton and Hartlepool NHS organisations jointly with the Borough Councils have obtained “provisional pilot” status. The main aim is to give patients greater control over the services they receive and the providers from which they receive services in line with the wider Personalisation agenda being progressed across health and social care. Across the North of Tees area we expect up to 80 patients will form the initial part of the pilot in year one (2010) with a view to expanding the number of patients by a further 80 in year two (2011) and three (2012). The pilot will include those people with a diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and pain management issues. The pilot will also include people entitled to Continuing Health Care funding. The intended project benefits include the following:  More choice and control  Improvement in condition  Improved well-being of the carer  Improvements in quality of life  Mutually agreed support plans with agreed interventions Further information can be found on the Department of Health website:

At a local level we will be providing more information in the near future through public meetings, focus groups and a local website. If you want to find out more from the North of Tees project team please email

Getting ready to deliver Personal Budgets in Stockton-on-Tees. The systems to deliver personal budgets for local people are expected to go live in December 2009. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is committed to enabling individuals and carers to have greater flexibility and choice over how they use the social care funds they are entitled to. We are developing a simpler and fairer system to work out how much money a person would be entitled to; to meet their support needs over a period of 12 months. Contrary to what people may think Personalisation and Self Directed Support is not all about handing individuals a years worth of funding and leaving them to it! For people who believe they have a need to be supported to remain independent the first step is to undertake an assessment to find out what they need by way of assistance. Linked to the normal assessment process, which covers personal and financial information, we have developed a self-assessment questionnaire to be known as a Self Directed Well-being Assessment (SDWA). The SDWA asks questions about different areas of life such as maintaining health and well-being, accessing the local community, and important relationships. The individual and their advocate/s will be able to complete this with the help of the social 6

worker if needed. The aim is to work with individuals to not just understand their needs but also to identify their strengths and the positive outcomes they would like to achieve, enabling them to live their life in a way that makes most sense to them. By completing the SDWA we will be able to calculate the sum of money required to meet the persons support needs. This is managed using a new financial took known as a Resource Allocation System (RAS). The RAS uses answers given in the SDWA to calculate an indicative Personal Budget, which will then be considered by a panel of professionals who focus on the key question: „does the indicative budget calculated enable the individual or their advocate/s to develop a support plan that meets the individuals assessed needs and agreed outcomes identified within the SDWA?‟ If the panel is happy that it does the individual is informed of their indicative Personal Budget (the amount of money provided by the Council less any personal financial contribution) and can start creating their Support Plan. If there are concerns then the SDWA is revisited with the individual and their advocate/s to ensure assessed needs and agreed outcomes have been appropriately identified. There will be circumstances when it may not possible for an individual or their advocate/s to produce an appropriate Support Plan within the indicative Personal Budget calculated by the RAS and therefore we are putting in place measures to ensure these are considered on a case by case basis. Equally, there will be occasions when a Support Plan may be developed at a much lower cost than the indicative Personal Budget calculated by the RAS through innovative thinking and creative planning from individuals and their advocates. The Support Plan will describe what an individual wants to change about their life and how they will use their Personal Budget to make these changes happen. SBC has to agree an individual‟s support plan and for this to happen it must has to answer these questions:        What is important to you? What do you want to change? How will you arrange your support? How will you spend your money? How will you manage your support? How will you stay in control? What will you do next?

Once the support plan is in place, which is expected to take about 4 weeks, the plan is presented back to the panel for the final decision to release the Personal Budget funding. At this point the individual will start to put together the support arrangements. This can be done with family and friends or through the support organisation we will have in place to assist people setting up bank accounts and contracts. A regular check will be undertaken with the individual after a period of six – eight weeks to make sure the support arrangements are working effectively. Thereafter the support will be reviewed on an annual basis unless problems are encountered beforehand. If you wish to find out more about the process please contact Peter Smith (Personalisation Manager) or Rebecca Williams (Personalisation Project Officer) .


6. Hints and Tips
A new feature of this newsletter is going to focus on Hints and Tips, any little inspirations we can share that help to make a difference, from saving money to saving energy, and some others that might just help to make living with an impairment or disability that little bit easier. If you have any that you would like to share, please send to us, and we`ll include them in the next edition. To get us started:

Top Ten Tips for Daily Living
1 If you have trouble getting in and out of a car try putting a plastic bag on the seat (passenger only – not recommended for drivers). The slippery plastic will help you to swivel round. If arthritis causes you problems peeling potatoes, carrots etc, hammer a nail into a thick wooden chopping board. You can then secure the vegetable on the nail so you only need one hand to peel the veg. Problems gripping cutlery? Buy a section of polystyrene tubing from a DIY store (the stuff used for lagging pipes), cut to fit the cutlery handles, make a lengthwise slit and then simply slide the cutlery in for a better grip When pouring liquids into a teapot, mug or glass, use a tray with a good edge so that any spillages will be caught rather than ending up over the worktop or floor or yourself. Using a larger saucepan than would normally be required for any particular quantity of food should prevent anything boiling over or spilling. It is also safer to use the back two rings of the hob where possible, and use pans with two handles for easier gripping if strength in your hands or wrists causes you problems. When boiling vegetables in a pan, put your veg into a wire chip-pan basket, that way when the veg is cooked you can lift out the basket and will not risk spilling boiling water over yourself – then leave the pan of water to cool and dispose of. Or consider a slow cooker, this will mean less time spent standing by the cooker (a high stool or chair in your kitchen will mean you can take regular rests whilst cooking or doing the washing up too) Put a damp flannel or cloth underneath chopping boards or plates to stop them sliding around on your work top, table or tray Message in a bottle, keep your medical details, medications, allergies, emergency contact details etc in a bottle in the fridge, with a green cross sticker by your front door and fridge door, then in the event of an emergency the emergency services will check there. Forms, Stickers and Bottles are available from chemists and doctors surgeries and Lions Clubs. At this time of year, when Christmas is just around the corner, consider buying gift vouchers or gifts that can be gift-wrapped in store to save you spending time wrapping fiddly presents. Sounds decadent, but consider satin sheets or pyjamas, they will make it easier to slide in and out of bed (and will feel nice too!)











Top Ten Tips for Saving Money
When cooking, make slightly more and freeze some, that way there will be less wastage and will also save you time another day. Plan your meals for the week so you only buy what you need, food stays within it`s shelf-life and you end up throwing away less. When grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it! Ask yourself – do I really need this? Don`t be tempted to buy something you didn`t really want just because it was on offer - and be aware of BOGOFs (buy one get one free) or three for the price of two offers – don`t be tempted unless you know you need and will use the items as then it will save you money in the long run. Remember Supermarkets do this to us on purpose to make us spend more! Don`t go shopping when you`re hungry – there is evidence that we buy more convenience and comfort foods! Buy own brands where possible – a packet of Ibuprofen for example could cost anywhere between 33p (own brand supermarket) and £2.99 (Anadin Ultra). Whilst it`s important to stay warm during the winter, tucking curtains behind radiators, and warming your bed with a hot water bottle could help to keep fuel bills down. The biggest energy eaters in your home are you kettle and tumble dryer. Only use the amount you need for each cup of tea when boiling your kettle, and reduce your tumble dryer use by drying clothes in front of radiators. Shop around for your utilities bills too. When using the oven, keep your baking trays, cake tins etc at the bottom piled up, this will reduce the space to heat and will help the oven reach the desired temperature quicker. Turn off the oven, iron, hotplates or kettle slightly before required as they will all stay warm for a while after they`ve been turned off. Look sharp - and save cash – times are hard, we may not be able to go shopping for new clothes or accessories or cosmetics as often as we`d like, so have another look at what you have – could you revamp something by changing buttons, taking up the hem, sewing on some braid or sequins to liven up an old dress for example? How many bottles of old cosmetics do we accumulate – or clothes we “keep for special occasions” – get them out – enjoy them! Being clean, tidy and well presented is infinitely more important than having the latest season`s must haves! Or swap with friends or relatives – a different shirt or bag could be just the thing to put life into an old outfit Christmas is just around the corner – if you didn`t stock up in the January sales this year make it a priority for 2010 – you`ll get loads more for your money, particularly buy your wrapping paper, Christmas cards and decorations. Consider buying gift vouchers for people, then they can go shopping themselves and buy twice as much in the January sales! Top tips for saving petrol: Get rid of any surplus weight from the car, check the tyre pressures weekly, with misty or steamy windows, switch off fuel hungry heating and air conditioning, accelerate in a business-like manner when pulling away, changing up a gear at 3,000 rpm (2,500 rpm for diesels), “Block change” into the highest possible gear when the car reaches the maximum safe or legal speed for the road and conditions, keep away from the car ahead of you to smooth out your driving. (Two seconds behind it will greatly reduce braking and stopping), don‟t break the speed limit, faster means thirstier. Remove roof racks and “top box” when they‟re not needed, switch off the engine if you will be stationary for more than three minutes (level crossings, waiting for passengers etc), and not filling your fuel tank to the max will reduce weight, just don`t risk running out!


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7. `Tis the Season to be Jolly?
Christmas is just around the corner once again. And that means it‟s time to celebrate, to spend quality time with family and friends, to indulge ourselves, relax, and be of good cheer. According to the songs, it‟s the most wonderful time of the year, and this is the season to be jolly. But Christmas isn‟t necessarily a merry time. A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that one in three adults said they would escape Christmas if they could. So what‟s the reason for wanting to get away from the celebrations? For some people it can serve to highlight feelings of loneliness or isolation, stress, anxiety and depression. Christmas is an expensive time of year…financial worries can have a devastating impact on mental health. It is vital to remember that looking after our mental health and well-being is just as important as our physical health and well-being. As Helen Elysee, a Therapist at Alliance Psychological Services says, “This is a stressful time, and it can help to talk to people who understand the particular pressures that Christmas can bring”. The Mental Health Foundation have produced a “mental health at Christmas, Survival Guide” which aims to help reduce people‟s stress and anxiety levels, and includes taking some exercise, monitoring the amount you drink, social interaction and making time for yourself to relax. The full guide and other articles advising how to cope with the pressures of Christmas can be found on If you or someone that you know or care for needs to speak to someone over the Christmas period, the following contact information may be useful: The Samaritans Mental Health Matters Helpline NHS Direct 08457 909090 0800 0527350 0845 4647

Tell us what you Want!
This Newsletter has been in print now for a year. How do you think it`s doing – what would you change, what do you want to see featured? If you have a comment or suggestion to make, please let us know!


We’re on the Web! and click on “I” for Independent Living
And we also have a dedicated email address for all your independent living enquiries:
or you can write to us at: Independent Living, Adult Strategy Team, Tithebarn House (1st Floor), High Newham Court, Hardwick, Stockton TS19 8RH Tel 01642 528490 Fax 01642 528457 If you have any articles or events that you would like publicising please send articles to the above email or postal address by 15th January 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Independent Living Team !


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