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Orbit East Care & Repair provides housing and care options advice for people in Suffolk

Following a funding review, Orbit East Care & Repair is pleased to announce the continuation of their service to provide free, independent and impartial information and advice about housing and care options for older people and their relatives or carers living in Suffolk.

In partnership with EAC FirstStop Advice, the Orbit Care and Repair service provides:

  • advice about housing and care options including whether to move or whether to      stay put;
  • information and advice about home improvements and adaptations, including advice on how to pay for them;
  • details and advice on other services which can help people in later life to continue      to live safely, independently and well in their own home.

Anyone interested about in finding out more may contact the Orbit Care & Repair team by emailing suffolkhia@orbit.org.uk or calling 0800 121 7711, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5pm.

Research has proven that there are many benefits for people who access these services. This may include:

  • feelingmore confident in making decisions; feeling more informed and more able to choose between different options;
  • being supported to stay in or move to the accommodation of their choice,      empowering them to live in housing that suits them;
  • preventing housing related health issues, such as falls or unplanned and unwanted moves into care homes;
  • improved wellbeing, independence and quality of life.

The new Care Act, which came into force at the beginning of April, places new responsibilities on local authorities to ensure that information and advice on care and support is available to all, as an essential element of its focus on prevention. The service offered by Orbit Care and Repair plays a critical role in helping achieve this aim.

Mike Scarlett, Home Improvement Agency Business Manager for Orbit East Care & Repair says; “We are delighted that once again we have been selected to continue to deliver this invaluable service to people living in Suffolk. As our population ages, it is more important than ever that people are given the tools to make choices about their own futures so that they receive the support they need while having the ability to live independently. We invite anyone who is interested in this service to get in touch.”

EAC chief executive, John Galvin, says; “High quality advice and information services enable older people and their relatives and carers to make well-informed choices that could affect their quality of life and wellbeing for many years”.

The Suffolk service is one of 15 services supported with funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) via Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC), the national information and advice charity for older people. The Suffolk service is managed by Orbit Care and Repair.

Case study

Mr Howe is 82 years old and had been struggling with health and mobility issues. He lived alone after his wife passed away several years ago in a home that was unsuitable for him and that was poorly maintained. It had a steep staircase with a bathroom upstairs, which meant he struggled every time he needed to use the bathroom. Despite having various grab rails fitted within the home, he recently had two falls on the stairs and this caused him to lose confidence, become depressed and worry about his future.

Orbit’s Housing Options Advisor, Judith, visited Mr Howe and helped him look at potential options for a more suitable home.

Mr How worried that he would not get to the toilet in a timely manner and that any  further falls might be more serious. He was also concerned about living in an area surrounded by young families with children and felt lonely without being able to develop friendships with people of his own age.

Judith helped Mr Howe to navigate through the Local Authority’s choice based lettings system and he was offered a flat in a Sheltered Housing scheme that was ideal for him. Mr Howe is now living in a lovely flat with a level access shower and a lift and he has the security of knowing where to go for help if he needs it. The risk of him falling has been greatly reduced and his confidence and security has improved.

Mr Howe says; ‘”Without Judith I would never have done it and I don’t know what would have happened to me.”

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