Making homes safer for older people
13 Sep 2018
Age-friendly Belfast, a multi-agency partnership, is helping protect older residents from accidents in the home through their ‘Belfast Safer Homes’ service, which offers practical help at subsidised rates.
Aimed at vulnerable adults or people aged over 65, Belfast Safer Homes provides a free home safety check and accident prevention equipment. If the check highlights that repair work is needed to protect against, slips, trips or falls – they will also provide a handyman to carry out the repairs at a reduced rate (£5 per hour if you receive benefits and £15 if you do not receive benefits).
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,” added Councillor Copeland.
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.
The Belfast Safer Homes service is available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and all work is carried out by Bryson Energy staff who have been trained, police checked and carry ID.