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Council cuts see handyman taken away from elderly

27th February 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

As part of cuts by Wolverhampton City Council, elderly residents with mobility difficulty will see their handyperson service withdrawn soon. The service, which currently helps elderly stair lift users by carrying out work around the home such as moving furniture and preventing trips and falls by fixing carpets and loose cables, only has enough money to continue until the end of March, after which point it is feared residents will be left vulnerable.

Under the new proposed cuts a number of ‘preventative services’ that are aimed at helping to keep people living in their own homes are to be dropped as their funding is taken away. The cuts should save the council £140,000 a year if they are implemented but could also see hundreds of vulnerable residents suffer as a result.

Council cuts

One of the main features that is to be affected by the funding cuts is Wolverhampton’s handyperson service. The service enables mobility restricted owners of fitted stair lifts in the area to carry on living in their own homes, as a handyperson is able to come round and provide such services as floorboard work and draft proofing, which limited mobility may prohibit residents from carrying out themselves.

The handymen even do some small plumbing work on walk in showers for the elderly and adapted bathrooms free of charge in order to help keep residents living independently in their own homes as long as possible in an attempt to reduce demand on statutory services later on. It has been proven that enabling elderly citizens to live independently for longer reduces the strain put on public services funded by the taxpayer, benefitting all parties, which is where the concern over the council cuts stems from.

In addition to the handyperson service, other services including keep-fit classes and yoga sessions funded by the Active Older People’s Fund will also experience the impact of the cuts.

Image Credit: Tony Alter (flickr.com)