Not being able to manage your housework, gardening or household finances can be frustrating and upsetting. If you can no longer keep your house or garden the way you want it there are solutions that can help with:
- DIY tasks
- managing household finances.
Before you arrange for somebody to come into your home to do some work you can:
- search for them on the Buy with Confidence scheme. This shows traders who have been vetted by Trading Standards. We recommend only using traders on this scheme. Find it at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
- read the information from Age UK about protecting yourself and keeping safe at home at devon.cc/ageukprotectyourself
There is equipment which can help you to complete housework or gardening tasks safely. This could include a perching stool to sit on while working in the kitchen or gadgets with long handles or easy grip. Phone the Independent Living Centre on 01392 380181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the options and find local suppliers.
An Independent Living Centre occupational therapist can also talk to you about making changes to the layout of your home; sometimes small changes to the location of furniture and key items can make a big difference.
Help at home
You may want to consider paying a cleaner or gardener to take on these tasks for you. Ask friends or family for recommendations, or you can look for local organisations and businesses providing cleaning services at devon.cc/cleaning and you can find local gardening services at devon.cc/gardening.
If you need other support, such as help with getting dressed or washing, you may want to think about contacting a care agency to have all the help you need provided by one company. You can search online for local care agencies at www.pinpointdevon.co.uk. We recommend that you contact a couple of agencies to find one that suits your needs and budget.
You could employ a personal assistant to provide care and household support. This would mean having the same person that you choose meeting your needs, but you would need to be comfortable with becoming an employer. You can find more information about employing a personal assistant at www.gov.uk/au-pairs-employment-law and you can find out about personal assistants in Devon at www.livingoptions.org/devon-personal-assistant-bank.
Mould and damp
Mould and damp are common problems and are caused by excess moisture in your home.
Damp and mould can affect the health of:
- babies and children
- elderly people
- people with existing skin problems, such as eczema
- people with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma
- people with a weakened immune system.
NHS Choices has information about preventing damp and dealing with mould in your home at www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/How-do-I-get-rid-of-damp-and-mould.aspx
If you have a damp problem and are living in rented accommodation, Shelter explains what you can do to prevent mould, what your landlord can do and what to do if you are struggling to get help from your landlord. Visit devon.cc/shelterdampandmould
Heating your home
If your home is damp because you are having difficulty keeping it warm there is help available.
Cosy Devon is a council-backed scheme offering a range of free and subsidised energy saving measures that can help you save energy and money.You can get help if you’re a Devon homeowner, private landlord or their tenant. Visit www.cosydevon.com
You may also be able to get:
- money off your electricity bill www.gov.uk/the-warm-home-discount-scheme
- a winter fuel payment www.gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment
- a cold weather payment www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment
You may also qualify for an energy grant or help to make your home more energy efficient www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator.
You may decide that your best option would be to move to a smaller home, a place nearer family or amenities or to a property that has some support available on site.
There are a range of options available. You may want to find out more about things like extra care housing, supported living, sheltered housing and housing association properties. Find out more about your housing options at new.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/housing-options.
Age UK has independent information at www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/housing-choices
Which? has detailed information about housing choices at www.which.co.uk/elderly-care/housing-options
We would always recommend getting independent financial advice before making any big decision about your living arrangements. Find out more about help with finances at new.devon.gov.uk/adultsocialcareandhealth/factsheet/money-and-benefits.