14/09/2018

Older Residents Encouraged To Use 'Belfast Safer Homes' Scheme

Older residents in Belfast are being encouraged to make use of a free home safety check and accident prevention service by multi-agency partnership, Age-friendly Belfast.

The Belfast Safer Homes initiative is aimed at vulnerable adults or people aged over 65 and helps protect older residents from accidents in the home.

The service carries out a check at each home and if the check highlights repair work is needed, a handyman is provided to carry out the repairs at a reduced rate.

Repairs that can be undertaken include fixing loose floorboards, fitting curtain poles, changing light bulbs, or clearing paths. However, electrical work, plumbing or painting is not part of the service.
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Chair of the Belfast City Council's all-Party Older People's Group, Councillor Sonia Copeland, said: "In the first instance a home safety officer will visit your property to assess it and provide advice on how to prevent falls in the home, carbon monoxide poisoning, improved fire safety and home heating.

"They can provide a range of equipment which will help people live independent lives. The simple equipment such as a touch lamp, shoe horn, magnifier, jar and bottle openers can make a difference in completing tasks around the home," she said after speaking to one resident who has benefitted from the service.

"Officers can also make referrals for a comprehensive multidisciplinary falls assessment, organised by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, or to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for smoke alarm installation.

"The home safety check can also highlight repair work needed in the property to protect against slips, trips or falls. In this instance a fully vetted handyman is available to carry out the repairs if required."

(LM/CM)

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