There is a range of equipment available to make life easier and to improve safety and independence in the home, such as stair rails, raised toilet seats, shower stools etc. These simple
items are often referred to as ‘Simple Aids for Daily Living’. If you would like more information,
please contact Adult Services.
Some organisations offer wheelchairs for short and long-term hire either for a small charge or a donation. The British Red Cross, for example, offers a volunteer-led medical equipment service
that provides wheelchair hire and short-term loans of equipment. It has a number of branches
in your area that offer wheelchair hire. You can search its website for your nearest service at
www.redcross.org.uk. The Essex Independent Living Centre also helps to arrange wheelchair
Living Made Easy
Living Made Easy offers help and advice on daily living as well as details of equipment that is on the market that could help you. It is run by the Disabled Living Foundation and works in conjunction with AskSARA. Web: www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk
AskSARA helps you find useful advice and products that make daily living easier. Depending on your need, there are a number of yes/no questions you can answer, it then generates a report of advice and products that could help make a difference to you. Part of the Disabled Living Foundation, AskSARA is an easy-to-use, award-winning online self-help guide that is
particularly useful if you are not sure what practical items might help you. Web: http://asksara.dlf.org.uk
Disability Equipment Register
The Disability Equipment Register is a not-forprofit organisation providing a service to buy and sell items of used disability equipment. It is an information provider and gives no guarantee as to the suitability or quality of the equipment. Web: www.disabreg.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
Local disability services
Helps disabled people fulfill their potential. Membership is open to people with physical,
sensory and learning impairments.
Maw Hill Rawstorn Road
Tel: 01206 577776
Essex Coalition of Disabled People
Aims to improve the quality of life for people with physical, sensory, learning or mental disabilities.
Pioneers of the concepts of local support, self help groups and clubs. Services include disability helpline, insurance for member clubs, record of over 150 clubs, which cater to all tastes, suppliers of RADAR keys etc.
Southend-on-Sea Blind Welfare Organisation
For blindness/visual problems, helps with independent living issues – provides information and equipment.
117 Hamlet Court Road
Tel: 01702 342 131
On Sight Projects
Aids people with visual impairment maintain independence and reduce social isolation by providing volunteers to assist with access to shopping facilities in Basildon and Wickford.
Tel: 01268 282247
Fax: 01268 294091
Meeting the needs for deafblind people. Services include holistic home assessment, advocacy
and assistance with remaining independent, social club, regular volunteer visitor, support with
accessing health appointments etc.
Essex Blind Charity
Essex Blind Charity’s services include: permanent residential care and respite breaks for the elderly visually impaired, equipment centres demonstrating ‘aids to daily living’, hospital eye
clinic support groups etc.
RAD-Royal Association for Deaf People-Southend-on-Sea Centre
The Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD) promotes the welfare and interests of deaf people
(whose first or preferred language is sign language).
Aims to prevent vulnerable, elderly, hard of hearing people from becoming depressed, isolated and excluded. Also provides equipment such as amplified telephones and flashing doorbells. Day care centres in mid Essex also run.
Unit 3 Lockside Marina Off Navigation Road
Tel: 01245 348440
Fax: 01245 345924
Community transport is a scheme to help you get around if you can’t use existing transport. It is arranged by your local council. To find out more, contact one of the following:
Chelmsford Community Transport
Tel: 01245 477750
Colchester Community Voluntary Services
Tel: 01206 505250
Harwich Community Transport
Tel: 01255 552010
Southend-on-Sea Community Transport
Tel: 01702 215003
Tendring Community Transport
Tel: 01255 436962
Uttlesford Community Travel
Tel: 01371 875787
Wyvern Community Transport
Rochford Tel: 01268 753513
Castle Point Tel: 01268 754936
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to use their government-funded mobility allowance to lease a new care, scooter or powered wheelchair. If you are in receipt of the
Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, you’re eligible to join the Motability Scheme. To find out more visit www.motability.co.uk
Free bus pass
If you live in England, you may be entitled to a bus pass giving free off-peak travel on local buses. Off-peak is between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, all weekends and Bank Holidays. You will be entitled to your bus pass when you reach ‘eligible’ age. You can apply for your bus pass by contacting your council.
Blue Badge scheme
If you have severe mobility problems you may be able to apply for a Blue Badge to enable you to park close to where you need to go. You can apply online via the GOV.UK website www.gov.uk
Electronic aids for hire
The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)
This is a national charity providing impartial advice, information and training on independent living. Simple electronic aids can be borrowed from them for free for up to two weeks including:
gadgets that remind you of things you need to do; safety alarms and sensors; magnifiers and
telephones with big buttons. A small deposit is required.
DLF factsheets provide general advice on topics such as features to look for when choosing a wide range of items of daily living equipment. These can be viewed and downloaded from
the website: www.dlf.org.uk
Helpline: 0300 999 0004
Telecare is equipment that can detect falls, inactivity, smoke, flooding, gas or extreme temperatures in the home. Sensors, which are placed in the home, are triggered, and an alert
is received either by trained operators at a 24 hour call centre, or directly by a relative or carer.
Telecare can allow users to remain independent and relatives and carers are reassured, safe in the knowledge that should an incident occur, they will know about it. Some devices can also help monitor particular health conditions and reduce the need for hospital admission.
Telecare can help restore confidence for people who feel vulnerable in their own homes for a
variety of reasons – that could be because of living alone, frailty or the need to summon help
in an emergency. It could also be as a short-term measure during a period of convalescence.
Telecare can seldom replace care and assistance from people – it usually enables existing care
and support to respond more effectively and can sustain carers in their role.
Telecare can only be used where there are sufficient carers or care support available to
respond quickly when an alarm is raised.
In order to receive the service, you can approach Adult Services or one of your local Careline service providers independently. An occupational therapist can advise you and assess you for all equipment. New developments in telecare are happening all the time and your local independent living centre will have demonstrations of available equipment.
Essex Independent Living Centre Catalyst House
1 Newcomen Way
Severalls Business Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YL
Tel: 01206 518888
Monday – Thursday (9.30am – 4.00pm)
Friday (9.30am – 3.30pm)
You can nominate a relative, carer, neighbour or friend to be a responder. A responder needs to be able to get to the location of the alarm if the response centre contacts them. They must be able to take appropriate action and live within 45 minutes’ drive of the alarm location.
If you qualify for support from Adult Services and it is agreed that Telecare is the best option
for you then a Tunstall engineer will arrange a time to come and install the equipment. The
engineer will show you how the equipment works and how to use it. They will provide you
with an information leaflet and also carry out an environmental assessment in your home to assess if any additional items are required.
Basildon, Castlepoint, Rochford
Tel: 01268 465151
Braintree and Maldon
Tel: 01376 551600
Tel: 01277 848975
Tel: 01245 613000
Tel: 01206 282277
Tel: 0208 508 8596
Tel: 01279 446361
Tel: 01702 236195
Tel: 01255 222727
Tel: 01799 510510