Age UK Suffolk

Age UK Suffolk is a local independent charity working with and for older people and their family carers in Suffolk. It provides a range of services and support including information help desks, benefits advice, an independent advocacy service, befriending, support for people with dementia and their family carers, day centres and home helps.

Contact:

Helen Taylor

Age UK Suffolk

14 Hill View Business Park

Old Ipswich Road, Claydon, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0AJ

Tel: 01473 284251

Fax: 01473 287955

Email: helen.taylor@ageuksuffolk.org

Helping older people to stay independent in Suffolk

April 2011

A local charity has announced that it can offer more help to older people in Suffolk who want to remain living independently in their own homes. Age UK Suffolk has recently re-launched its successful Independence Advisors Service as a result of a new partnership with Supporting People Suffolk.

"The Independence Advisors Service offers a home visit from a friendly, well informed advisor" said Independence Advisors’ Manager, Marsha Janssens, today. “We can visit anyone over 60 wherever they live in Suffolk and the visit is free. Our Advisors are able to discuss any issue that is affecting someone’s daily life and give accurate information and advice about services available to help people stay independent." Mrs Janssens continued, "We can also help people take action on the information and access local services if they wish, or to consider other housing options if their home is not meeting their needs."

"The Independence Advisors Service has been running successfully for 5 years in partnership with Suffolk County Council, but a recent injection of funding from Supporting People Suffolk will allow us to expand the service, employing more advisors to meet the high demand for visits" said Mrs Janssens. "As part of this new funding we will be particularly seeking to offer our service to older people living in the county’s Sheltered Housing schemes, in order to assist residents to be fully informed about services available to help them stay living independently for longer."

To request a visit from an Independence Advisor call Age UK Suffolk on 01473 288048, or email marsha.janssens@ageuksuffolk.org or write to Age UK Suffolk at 14 Hill View Business Park, Old Ipswich Road, Claydon, Ipswich, IP6 0AJ.

Charity wants to meet older gay and transgender people

June 2011

A local charity, Age UK Suffolk, is running a one year project called Opening Doors. It is aimed at finding out the issues and needs of older people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (the shorthand is LGB&T) and those who care for them. The charity's project worker, Lois Peachey, wants to meet more OLGB&T people in Suffolk to listen to and learn from them.

Many people still do not feel safe to be open about being LGB or T because, in spite of equalities legislation, there are still negative and, sometimes, hostile attitudes towards them. Daphne Savage, Chief Executive of Age UK Suffolk, said "We believe this is probably worse for older people as they have lived through the years when homosexuality was a criminal offence (for men) and even classified as a mental illness. So when they experience some of the problems that can come in later life - especially when needing care at home, a stay in hospital, a move to sheltered housing or a care home - older people can be faced with 'coming out' at a time when they feel least able to cope with possible prejudice or discrimination."

Whilst transgender people have historically joined with LGB people in the fight for rights and recognition, their concerns are not the same, so the charity has set up an LGB and T project.

A benefactor has given money to Age UK Suffolk specifically for this purpose and the charity has employed Lois Peachey to work on the project. Lois explained that her role is threefold: (1) to work with the charity and anyone who works with older people to ensure that nothing that they do is unintentionally unfriendly or discriminatory to older LGB&T people; (2) to find, and learn from, older LGB&T people about their concerns and experiences; and (3) to help Age UK Suffolk find ways in which it can respond to what is learned through this project and share it with any organisation or group that works with older people.

"Older LGB&T people can contact me in whatever way they feel most comfortable" Lois said, "and I urge them to do so. Everything they tell me will be entirely confidential, but what I learn from them will help Age UK Suffolk to try and make a real difference for older LGB&T people in our county and to influence other organisations that work with older people."

The ways Lois can be contacted are: by phone: direct line 01473 353055; mobile 07841 460 375; email lois.peachey@ageuksuffolk.org; or write to Lois Peachey at Age UK Suffolk, 14 Hill View Business Park, Old Ipswich Road, Claydon, IP6 OAJ

Cold Weather Advice from Age Concern Suffolk

February 2010

With this winter predicted to be one of the coldest for several years, Age Concern Suffolk is urging frailer or less mobile older people, who may be more susceptible to the cold, to take extra precautions to stay warm.

Daphne Savage, Chief Executive of Age Concern Suffolk said, "Anyone who is cutting back on basics such as food and heating because they're concerned about high electricity and gas bills should call one of our Help Centres for advice. Our friendly staff will be happy to chat about their concerns and help resolve problems. Our Ipswich Help Centre is on 01473 257039 (Mon-Fri, 9 am - 5 pm); Bury St Edmunds on 01284 757750 (Mon-Fri, 9.30 am - 1 pm); and Lowestoft on 01502 586308 (Mon-Fri, 9.30 am - 1 pm). Also, people should check that they are receiving all the benefits to which they are entitled and our Benefits Helpline on 01449 674222 (Mon-Fri, 9 am - 5 pm) will be delighted to do that for them. What older people absolutely must not do - is to turn their heating down or off when they most need to keep warm."

Mrs Savage continued "There is some help available with heating your home. Most people aged 60 or over are entitled to the Winter Fuel Payment paid by the Government to assist with heating costs. Previous recipients should get the payment automatically, and most payments were made prior to Christmas." If you have not received the payment before contact the Winter Fuel Payment helpline for further details: 08459 15 15 15.

If you get Pension Credit you may receive an extra cold-weather payment during periods of prolonged cold temperatures. This year you will get £25 when the average temperature where you live is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees Celsius or below, over seven consecutive day during the period from 1 November to 31 March. Specified Meteorological Office weather stations are used to obtain this information. This amount is paid automatically to those who are entitled to it.

It is also possible to reduce your fuel bills by improving your energy efficiency at home. Age Concern has a useful booklet entitled 'Save more, pay less' which is available, free of charge, from the offices mentioned above. This includes a range of energy saving suggestions.

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