Gadgets and Gizmos Information Session

Careline Community Service attended an event last week aimed at helping older people to remain in their own homes for longer.

The Gadgets and Gizmos session, held at the Community Baptist Church, in South Lynn, gave residents the chance to try out a range of devices designed to help elderly people live safely and independently.

Representatives of Norfolk County Council’s assistive technology department N-Able and The Norfolk Fire Service also attended the event advising people on how to remain safe and well in their home. The items on display included Careline’s personal alarm, key safes, movement sensors, temperature monitors and even talking reminders that deliver messages to prompt people to do regular things, such as take medication.

Local county councillor Alexandra Kemp, who hosted the session, said: “One of Norfolk County Council’s key aims is for Norfolk, which has the fastest ageing population in England, to help residents stay living independently in their own homes as long as they can.”

Gadgets and Gizmos for the elderly at home, event King's Lynn Community Babtist Church South Lynn LtoR, Mary Andrews, Janet Alexander, John Park, Alexandra Kemp, Lee-Anne De Luca (Care and Repair KL&WNBC), Rebecca Turner (n-able)

Gadgets and Gizmos for the elderly at home, event King’s Lynn Community Babtist Church South Lynn
LtoR, Mary Andrews, Janet Alexander, John Park, Alexandra Kemp, Lee-Anne De Luca (Care and Repair KL&WNBC), Rebecca Turner (n-able)

Free Home Assessments on offer

Older, disabled or vulnerable residents of West Norfolk are being encouraged to book an appointment for a free home assessment from Careline Community Services. The assessments, which are carried out by a team of qualified staff, will help residents, who may be living with a disability or dementia, or who are simply older and less mobile, to identify concerns in their property which may be affecting their day-to-day life.

The assessor, trained by the Disabled Living Foundation, will inspect the home to see whether measures could be introduced that would reduce the possibility of slips, trips and falls and generally make it easier for people to live safely and independently in their own homes.

Measures that could be considered include installation of a Careline personal alarm, improved lighting arrangements, heating checks, draught proofing, smoke detectors and easy-to-use taps along with recommendations for other adaptations that may reduce any potential risk to the resident.  The assessors will also be able to advise whether any grant funding is available for any works required.

Cllr Adrian Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community, said: “As people get older, it gets harder for them to do all the things they used to and many don’t like to ask for help.  Simple measures can make a real difference and help people keep their independence. These home assessments are a really easy way for people to identify and implement those small changes in their homes that will help keep them safe and warm. “I would urge anyone who has a friend or family member who could benefit from such an assessment to get in touch to arrange an appointment.”

To book an appointment call the Careline Community Team on 01553 760671

Free Dementia Home Assessment

Careline Community Services are currently offering free dementia home assessments. The aim of the assessment is to enable those living with dementia to remain living safely in their own home for longer. In their report ‘Support. Stay. Save.’ 2011, The Alzheimer’s Society state that  “Most people with dementia say they would prefer to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Despite half of those who live in their own home living alone, the home can be the best place for someone to manage the consequences of dementia.” For more information or to book an assessment please contact us on 01553 760671.

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.