If you wish to stay in your own home and need help or support, there are several organisations that can give specialist advice for the older people in relation to their housing needs.
Age UK in particular, are dedicated to the interests of older people and can offer advice on a wide variety of topics.
The handihelp scheme can provide minor repairs and maintenance to your home for a nominal fee.
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can also provide information about accessing local services.
The Somerset West Landlord and Tenants (SWeLT) Partnership provides advice and assistance in getting repairs and improvements done. They can help you work out what needs doing, find a reputable builder, and monitor their work. They can also give advice on insulation, energy efficiency, security measures around the home and adaptations to help you remain in your home.
SWeLT will find out what grants may be available to help towards the cost of the work, and check that you are getting any relevant benefits that you may be entitled to. If you want, they will come and visit you in your own home.
Handihelp is a community based repairs and maintenance service which provides general maintenance, plumbing and electrical work, as well as minor adaptations and security. The service is provided by Aster Living.
There is a charge for the service, based on the actual cost of materials used, and the time spent. The time charge varies with your income.
The Financial Assessment and Benefits (FAB) Team is part of Somerset County Council (SCC). They arrange to visit people who have care and support, or money, provided by SCC, so that they can carry out a financial assessment and work how much you will have to contribute, if anything, towards the cost.
At the same time they can check that you are receiving all the benefits that you are entitled to, they can help you to fill in benefit claim forms and follow up your application if you would like them to.
You can get in contact with the FAB team by phoning 0300 123 2224.
There are rebates for people living on their own, and for those on low incomes. The Council's Housing Benefit Section can tell you if you are eligible, and help you apply.
If you live in your own home, and have nobody around to help in an emergency, you can get help from the Deane Helpline.
The Deane Helpline service is where a call button is fitted in your home, this button can be pressed at any time to get help quickly. It could simply be used for reassurance about a worry, or responding to a serious medical emergency. There is a small charge for the service, but may be free if you are on benefits.
You can be assessed for Supported accommodation by applying to Homefinder Somerset. You will be placed in either Gold, Silver or Bronze band, depending on your housing needs. You will need to express an interest in the available properties on a regular basis.
The main aim of Extra Care Housing is to provide secure and appropriate tenancies to frail or disabled adults, accompanied with packages of support and care relevant to individual needs, this enables tenants to reside within the community in a non-institutional setting.
To apply for Extra Care Housing, referrals need to be made to the Scheme Manager at either Lodge Close, Wellington or Kilkenny Court, Taunton.
To get a referral to the Extra Care schemes please telephone the scheme managers directly on either:
Kilkenny Court 01823 257185
Lodge Close 01823 666393
For more information about Supported Housing please telephone 01823 356304.