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Need help at home?

Most people would like to stay living safely at home and retain their independence for as long as possible. For example if you have problems getting around your home there are items of equipment that can make life easier.  You may need help with personal care or household tasks. 

Below are some frequently asked questions and links on the right will take you to information on a range of services to help you maintain your independence at home, including home care agencies, personal alarms and equipment suppliers. Also there are links to services that can help provide companionship and friendly conversation, the chance to develop a new relationship, and opportunities to participate in social activities such as  befrienders and library services.

Could assistive technology, telecare and telehealth help?

Assistive technology can help people to live more independently by using devices and sensors to help with everyday tasks, such as reminding people to take medication or to turn the off the oven.

There is a wide range of devices and services available that can help to support people at home, provide reassurance to carers and reduce accidents and falls in the home, amongst other things.

Telecare services do not rely on a user pressing a pendant to raise an alarm, but offer a range of sensors that will automatically raise an alarm in the event of an emergency.  Telecare is a service that provides sensors and monitors (e.g. motion or falls detectors) often linked to community alarm systems that trigger a warning at a control centre that can be responded to within defined timescales.  These options require either a family member/ friend or a response service to be able to respond when contacted by the control centre.

Assistive Technology (AT) consists of ‘stand alone’ pieces of equipment (not connected to a monitoring/response service) such as simple mobile phones, bath plugs that reduce the risk of scalding and flooding, remote control for electrical items in the home, automatic pill dispensers etc.

Both Telecare and Assistive Technology can be purchased privately or recommended through adult social care if the person is eligible for a funded service.  Alternatively, your local NHS trust may pay for a telecare system as part of a continuing healthcare or intermediate care package, if you are eligible. NHS - Carers direct guide

Telehealth typically involves electronic sensors or equipment that monitors vital health signs remotely from home or while on the move.  If you think telehealth would be beneficial please speak to your GP.

If you are not eligible for financial help from West Berkshire Council and you wish to make your own arrangements you will find a list of providers in the personal alarms/telecare or assistive technology listings under the ‘Need help at home? category.

Assistive technology, telecare and alarms information from West Berkshire Council.

Assistive technology and how it could help someone with dementia.  Advice and information provided by Alzheimer’s Society.  Find out what is available and the best solution for your situation.

 Telecare and alarms information from NHS Choices

Will West Berkshire Council provide me with a wheelchair?

West Berkshire Council do not carry out assessments to provide wheelchairs.  Referrals to the Wheelchair Clinic must be completed by a Consultant, GP or registered Health Care Professional.  The Clinic does not accept self-referrals.  The wheelchair service will only provide wheelchairs to users who are unable to mobilise and who require the wheelchair indoors.  Wheelchairs will not be provided for outdoor use only or for portering in nursing/residential homes.  West Berkshire Wheelchair Service, Royal Berkshire Hospital, call: 0118 322 6706

For short term loan or to privately purchase a wheelchair view the information listed in the ‘Wheelchair’ category.

Falls Prevention – Practical advice and guidance to prevent falls in your home

From the age of 50, we start to lose muscle and bone strength and balance and one in three people aged 65 and over, fall each year.  Therefore it is important that we are aware of the different things that can cause falls in and outside the home and what we can do to keep fit and healthy. Find helpful advice and guidance on West Berkshire Council's webpage.


What is Reablement (Homesafe/Home Improvement Service) and how do I receive it?

Working with people to regain independence within their own home and community.

Sometimes due to an accident, illness or following a stay in hospital or simply growing older, people can struggle with daily activities or feel unsafe at home. 

We believe that for many of these people a short, intensive period of help and support to do all or some of the things they used to do, can make a huge difference to their quality of life.

The Homesafe/Improvement Care service is available for a period of up to 6 weeks.

Contact Adult Social Care on 01635 503050 where a care worker will talk through your daily life and anything you may be struggling with to see if you are eligible for support.

Further information is available on West Berkshire Council's webpage.

What is the Priority Services Register?

The priority services register (PSR) is a free and voluntary system that your energy supplier uses to ensure the correct support is given to its most vulnerable customers.  This includes families with children aged five or younger who are automatically considered among the core group to receive available support.  You will need to contact your energy supplier and register.  Each energy supplier and network operator maintains its own register. You will receive advice on a range of helpful and accessible services.  

Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) 0800 072 72 82 where you will receive priority help in the event of a power cut if you rely on electricity for medical equipment.

Visit the British Gas website to check you are eligible

Power cut – Call 105

How do I return loaned equipment?

Equipment provided through West Berkshire Council is on loan to you, so when it is no longer required, it has to be returned.  Look for a label on the equipment itself or check on the paperwork which will have been delivered with the equipment.  If you cannot find a contact number, please use the contact details below:

For equipment including beds, hoists, bathing equipment, raised toilet seats, commodes etc call NRS Healthcare on 0844 893 6960