Monday, July 28, 2008

Elderly housing schemes face cutbacks

Local authority schemes to provide housing improvements for older people and people with mobility problems are facing major cutbacks, the Labour Party has warned.

According to Labour TD, Ciaran Lynch, late last year, various home improvement schemes for older people and people with disabilities, which were previously under the control of the HSE, were amalgamated under the Housing Adaptation Scheme. This was to be administered solely by local authorities.

However councils were not given any additional funding to cover their increased responsibilities and as a result, they are ‘now being forced to scale back on spending in this area’.

“There is real concern among people who are old, ill or disabled that the badly needed stair lift, bathroom conversion, downstairs toilet or extension will not happen because the money is not with the local authorities. At this point, a number of local authorities have spent their allocation and the budget has been exhausted,” Mr Lynch explained.

He said that it is ‘completely unacceptable’ that just half way through the year, people in a vulnerable position are being told that they will have to wait until 2009 before their application for home improvements can be considered.

“These schemes allow elderly, disabled and sick people to continue living in their homes and enable them to maintain an independent lifestyle without unnecessarily taking up a scarce space in a care centre or hospital,” Mr Lynch said.

He pointed out that they are efficient schemes ‘when measured against the cost of elderly and disabled people not being able to live at home’.

“As Minister with overall responsibility for housing and for local government, John Gormley should now give an assurance in response to the genuine concern that this programme is about to collapse,” Mr Lynch added.

Stannah Stairlifts - The Superbrand

STANNAH Stairlifts was crowned as one of the most recognisable names in UK business this week.

The family-run, Andover-based business is the world's top manufacturer of stairlifts and on Tuesday it was granted the sought-after title of Superbrand. See full story here.

Stannah products are available direct from the manufacturer and from authorised dealers such as Dolphin Stair Lifts.

Chance to stay in her home is priceless

HAVING lived happily in her semi-detached Glasgow home for over 40 years, moving was the last thing that Jean Foreman, in her late sixties, wanted to think about.

However, a triple heart bypass, arthritis, osteoporosis and a couple of painful stumbles told her something would have to change. "It had got to the stage where I sometimes had to crawl up the stairs and it was so depressing," she said. "I thought about moving, but looking at another place just brought tears to my eyes." After a visit from an occupational therapist, who assessed her situation, a stair lift was fitted to the house last summer. Bathing was also proving difficult and even with a bath chair, sitting down and getting back up was awkward. Instead there is now a walk-in shower, which has made life immeasurably more manageable. "My occupational therapist Carol has organised every single thing to make sure I'm all right" said Jean. Without these modifications, Jean said there was no way she would have been able to stay in her home.

Despite running close to five figures, the alterations to Miss Foreman's home have been carried out and paid for by the local authority, leaving her only to fund an administration fee of £50. Even having the work done was not problematic, with the stair lift taking just a day to install. Happily able to remain in her home, she simply added: "That is the most important thing to me."

Selling your house? Install a stair lift

Stair lifts and adapted bathrooms may not seem selling points for your house today but, as we live longer, they will become positive attractions "CHARMING family home in excellent location retaining a wealth of original features. Recently modified to include a state-of-the-art stair lift and fully remote bath chair." Is this how property advertisements will read in the future?

Read more here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stairlift Price Calculator

Many stairlift companies are reluctant to give you a price on their website or over the phone. Dolphin Stair Lifts have a 'stairlift price calculator' on our website where you can quickly get a price online by answering half a dozen questions about your staircase.