Brenda Kearns, Head of the Age NI Advice Service, said, ‘We hear regularly from older people, their family and carers responsible for an older, disabled or ill family member or friend who can no longer care for themselves. Last year, the advice team received almost 1300 calls relating to care at home, making this one of the most frequent issues that our advisors deal with. Many callers are concerned, and often confused, about community care – what it means and, more specifically, what it means for them.
Top concerns being the availability of care services or treatment, grants, aids and adaptions.’
‘To continue living at home, some older people require intensive support with their personal care needs such as washing and dressing, or practical support with daily living such as meal preparation. Others require equipment, aids and adaptations to improve their mobility, enable their independence and increase their confidence at home. Such situations may put pressure on finances, relationships and health and wellbeing, yet lots of people don’t know about the help that is available. A carer, for example, may be entitled to Carers Allowance, a benefit that provides financial support to help carry out their caring role. Our freephone Advice Service can help people to find out about the support available to them.’
Siobhan McNulty, Pharmacy Manager, Melvin Pharmacy, Garrison, (pictured with Rosalind Cole, Community Events and Fundraising Officer), added, ‘Our pharmacy is delighted to be working with Age NI, Charity Partner of the Ulster Chemists’ Association, to ensure that more people in need contact the Advice Service for information and help. If you have a query about care at home, call in to us locally and we can make a referral on your behalf to the Age NI Advice Service. Together we can make sure that older people, their families and carers are getting the right support to help them to remain as independent as possible.’
For further information and advice about a care issue, or for a free copy of our comprehensive Care at Home guide, please contact the Age NI Advice Service on freephone 0808 808 7575 in confidence.