Careline Community Service Team nominated for national award

For the second year running, the Careline Community Service team has been shortlisted for a prestigious Foundations Home Improvement and Handyperson Award. Foundations, the governing body for Home Improvement Agencies, acknowledged the high standard of entries this year and congratulated the service on reaching the final three nominations.

The service has been nominated for the “Better Together Award” which acknowledges the innovation and positive involvement of the sector in working with partners to support the delivery of health and social care locally.

The project, thanks to some funding from the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, aimed to reduce falls, support hospital discharge and reduce re-admission during the winter months. The project encouraged partners from across statutory and voluntary organisations to work together and resulted in 120 client assessments taking place. The assessment looked not only at the practical measures including the provision of grab rails, half steps and community alarms but clients were also provided with a range of advice and information about coping with the winter, preventing falls, keeping active and referred for further assistance such as benefits advice and fire safety checks.

We should know soon if the Service has won….fingers crossed.

The need for a basic gardening service

The need for a basic gardening service

We are receiving an increasing volume of enquiries requesting gardening services from West Norfolk Borough residents. There is not currently any grant funding available to subsidise this type of work. Therefore we have contacted the Council’s Leisure and Public Space Manager to see if it may be possible for the Parks and Gardens Team to offer a home gardening service.

This is in the early stages of consideration, however if you would like to express your interest for this type of service, please e-mail

Relief Care in emergency for carers

Relief Care in emergency for carers

In My Place is a free Carers emergency relief service that is available 24 hours a day.

If a Carer is taken ill, or is in an accident/emergency, someone will be sent to take their place.

To join the scheme you need to complete a Carers Emergency Plan. You will be given a card to carry with you that will include an Emergency Plan number and phone number for the person who finds you to call. You may wish for a relative or friend to step in for you, or if there is nobody, Norfolk County Council will provide a home support service within two hours.

Care will be provided for up to 72 hours unless otherwise stated.

To register, call 0344 800 8020 Textphone: 0344 800 8011

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls asking for Key Safe

Scam Alert – Telephone cold calls asking for Key Safe

Norfolk Trading Standards are warning Norfolk residents about telephone cold calls asking for codes to key safes.

We have been contacted by the relative of an elderly Norwich resident who was telephone cold called by someone who was claiming to be working for British Telecom (BT). The caller stated that there was ‘problems with the telephones in the area’ and that they needed the code to the residents’ key safe so they could access the property.

The resident in this case unwittingly revealed the key safe code for their property to the caller. Following the call the resident realised their mistake and contacted a relative who contacted Trading Standards.

BT has stated that ‘genuine BT staff will never ask for this kind of information from householders. If you are ever unsure about a caller claiming to be from BT, end the call straight away and call us back on 0800 800 150.’

Trading Standards advises residents with a key safe to NEVER reveal the code to anyone who cold calls asking for details.

If you have received one of these calls and need further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or via their online reporting form

Dementia Friends campaign launched

Dementia Friends campaign launched

Public Health England and a leading dementia charity have joined forces in a major new campaign to encourage people to play their part in tackling one of the biggest health issues facing the country. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends initiative aims to show it will take a whole society response to enable people with the condition to live well. It is estimated that 61,281 people in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and Suffolk are living with dementia – the initiative will show everyone the small things that they can do to make a difference.

Some of England’s best-loved performers, including Sir Terry Pratchett, Lily Allen, Ray Winstone, Ruth Jones, Michael Vaughan, Ruth Langsford & Eamonn Holmes, Leighton Baines, Meera Syal, Simon Pegg, Paul O’Grady, Fiona Phillips, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon, will perform the iconic Beatles track ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ in a new ad, which will be shown on national TV.

The advert will encourage viewers to become a Dementia Friend – which simply means learning a few useful tips to help make life better for those living with dementia. To become a Friend, individuals first watch a short online film – which explains what dementia is, how it affects individuals and what people can do to help those living with the disease. Once they’ve watched the film, they then enter their details in order to receive a Dementia Friends badge (to help spread the word), and ‘Little Book Of Friendship’, which includes further ideas and tips on how to be a friend to someone with dementia. Alternatively, they can attend a face-to-face awareness session in their area.

Sir Paul McCartney has also been announced as an ambassador for Dementia Friends, to highlight that people with dementia can still live fulfilling and rewarding lives, with a little help from their friends.

Dr Gina Radford, Anglia and Essex Public Health England Centre Director, said: “Becoming a Dementia Friend involves finding out more about what dementia is, and the small things that they can do to make a big difference to a person living with the condition. People can live well with dementia and we can each help by having some awareness of how we can support people who have dementia that bit better.

The statistics speak for themselves, 61,281 people are living with dementia across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and we can all do something to support them by signing up to become a Dementia Friend.”

The initiative forms part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, and builds on commitments declared at the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit, which included a call to improve the quality of life for people living with the condition.

Norfolk ‘leading the way’ to raise dementia care and awareness

Norfolk ‘leading the way’ to raise dementia care and awareness

Dozens of dignitaries gathered for the launch of a bid to make Norfolk the first dementia friendly county in the country and to join the growing Dementia Friends movement. Around 70 people from local charities, businesses, councils and the emergency services.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, with the help of charities such as The Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK Norfolk and Age UK Norwich, is setting up a network of 16 dementia hubs in Norfolk to ensure that everyone is within 15 miles of a support group or dementia cafe.

Norman Lamb, health minister and North Norfolk MP, said he was “proud” that the county was pioneering initiatives to meet the challenges of dementia.

“Our communities are unnecessarily challenging for people with dementia and it is so easy to change them and make communities better. If all public, private and third sector organisations work collaboratively and break down barriers, we have the chance to lead the way in Norfolk in making our whole rural community dementia friendly. The vision for [dementia] hubs so that we are never too far away from advice and support is fantastic,” he said.

Willie Cruickshank, of The Dementia Alliance, added there were a lot of exciting developments in dementia and it was important for people to think differently about dementia and what it must be like for someone with the condition.

Joyce Hopwood, chairman of Norwich Older Peoples Forum, added: “Let’s make Norfolk a beacon of kindness, understanding and helpfulness to those amongst us with dementia and what should be their highly valued carers. Let’s make this a facet of Norfolk which we can be rightly proud of.”

The Dementia Friends session was run by Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster, who became a Dementia Champion, following her grandmother’s battle with dementia.

Careline’s Unsung Hero

Careline’s Unsung Hero

Careline Community Service worker Lyn Barker has been commended as an Unsung Hero for her tireless work helping elderly and vulnerable people.

Lyn, who has worked for the Careline Community Service for over 20 years, despite intending to retire in 2003, was commended by Foundations (The national body for Home Improvement Agencies and Handyperson Services) after being nominated for an Unsung Hero award. In the last 10 years alone Lyn has saved the Service over £820,000 to help continue their work keeping elderly and vulnerable people safe and well and living independently in their own homes.

At the age of 48, Lyn trained to become a sheltered housing warden and whilst in this role spent time installing community alarms in homes across Norfolk. She also trained to work in the call-handling centre. At the age of 60, Lyn retired from her role as a warden, but she has continued to work for Careline Community Service on a part time basis, cleaning, testing and reprogramming all of the Careline personal alarms and related equipment that is returned to the office. This allows the alarms to be reused, rather than new ones needing to be purchased, helping the service to remain affordable for clients.

Careline Community Service manager Emma Boore nominated Lyn. She said “Lyn is reliable and dependable, committed to her role, her responsibilities and her colleagues – her input to the success of the team has never been underestimated. Lyn provides a positive approach and wears a constant smile each time she comes into the office

She has a true ‘glass half full’ perspective on life that rubs off on everyone who meets her.

One day, and hopefully not in the near future, Lyn will decide to take her full retirement and leave a massive gap in the team to fill.

Careline Community Service would like to use this nomination as an opportunity to thank her on behalf of the team, the Home Improvement Agency, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and the thousands of elderly and vulnerable residents that she has supported over the years.”

Now aged 71, Lyn has been married to Roy for 52 years, and loves to travel the world in her time off, providing a regular source of stories and goodies from the places she visits on her coach holidays for her colleagues.

Dementia Toolkit

Carewatch have put together a Dementia Toolkit that can help people with Dementia to cope with the disease. The toolkit includes: includes:

  • Some simple facts about dementia
  • Tips to help you care for your loved one
  • Memory prompts that you can cut-out and use at home
  • Details of organisations where you can find additional help.

For further information visit

Age UK Surviving Winter Appeal

Age UK Surviving Winter Appeal

Helping older people in Norfolk stay warm and safe this winter

For the past 3 years, we have worked with the Norfolk Community Foundation over the autumn and winter months to administer the Surviving Winter Appeal. We are doing so again this year.

The idea is that those who receive, but do not depend upon, the Government Winter Fuel Payment might prefer to give some or all of it to someone who needs it more than they do. Even if you don’t receive a Winter Fuel Payment you can still make a donation of any size.

Over the 3 years since the appeal began, 970 grants totalling £156,499 have been given to support older people who are in need of help with their energy bills or their domestic heating systems.

Helping older people living in fuel poverty

Heat or eat is a reality for many older people. Simply keeping warm in the colder weather can be a challenge for many vulnerable older people due to poverty and inadequate housing, leading to preventable health issues. Many older people are dreading the cold weather and will have to choose between heating their home and eating a meal.

  • Each winter one older person dies every 7 minutes from the cold weather
  • Over a third of older people say they live mainly in one room to save money
  • 1.7 million older people can’t afford to heat their homes
  • In winter 2011 to 2012, there were over 300 winter deaths among people over 85 years of age living in Norfolk.

Key messages to keep warm and protect your health are:

  • Keep your living room temperature at 70⁰F (21⁰C)
  • Keep your bedroom at 65⁰F (18⁰C)
  • Keep your bedroom window closed at night when the weather is cold
  • Make sure you wrap up well when going out in the cold.

To apply for a Surviving Winter grant, please contact Age UK Norfolk on 0300 500 1217.

Free Dementia Home Assessments

Free Home Assessments Available

Careline Community Service has received winter pressures funding to support older people living in West Norfolk to stay safe, warm and well in their homes this winter.

The Winter Pressures Initiative is aimed at predominantly reducing falls in and around the home, but also aims to reduce cold related deaths by considering housing conditions and accessing support and funding where possible.

The funding will support a 1.5 hour home assessment which will incorporate:

  • Falls prevention
  • Safety and security
  • Lighting
  • Warm and Well
  • Community alarm and assistive technology
  • General handypersons works and property maintenance
  • Fuel poverty
  • Housing options and home choice information if appropriate
  • Housing adaptation referrals

The funding covers the first hour of any works identified from the home assessment plus grab rails, handrails and bannisters which will be provided free of charge. Any additional works will be subsidised by the local authority at a rate of either £10 of £20 per hour plus VAT if applicable.

We aim to reach 200 clients from now until the funding runs out on 31st March 2015.

The service is open to clients over the age of 60 or with a registered disability. The client must either feel at risk of falling or may have had a fall in the past.

For more information or to book a Free Home Assessment call the Careline office on 01553 760671.