Cash helps elderly keep independence

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A FUNDING injection of £169,000 will help elderly and disabled people in Northumberland to keep their independence.

The cash will be awarded to Northumberland County Council under the Government’s New Deal for Older People and Disabled Facilities Grants to help give residents more choice and control over where they live and ensure their home is suitable for their needs.

Council Executive Member for Adult Care and Well-being Ian Lindley said: “It is important for the happiness and well-being of our most vulnerable residents to be able to live independently in their own homes.

“Our focus is on preventing them having to move away from their friends, families and communities by ensuring that they receive support to make sure that their homes are suitable for their needs.

“Sometimes a small adaptation or extra monitoring equipment in the home can improve a person’s well-being enormously and can prevent the necessity for them having to rely on traditional caring support, for example when they are discharged from hospital or having to consider moving home.”

The New Deal for Older People will provide £10.3million for the North East’s 12 local authorities, while £1.3million will be given through Disabled Facilities Grants.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said: “Giving older people more choice where they live is the right thing to do, but it also makes economic sense. Up to £26,000 can be saved each year for each person by offering an alternative to residential care.

“I would urge all councils to help people move into suitable accommodation, or use the funding we have made available to make simple alterations so older people can stay in the home they love, close to family and friends.”

In addition, £51million has been provided nationally for handypersons services and there will be extra support for Home Improvement Agencies to provide help and advice to older and disabled people, housing associations and charities.

This includes housing advice, help with moving to more suitable accommodation if needed, small home repairs, home safety and security adaptations, energy efficiency advice and arranging for adaptations and home repairs to be made, including grab rails, stair-lifts and major work such as ground floor extensions.