Dementia Web - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

DementiaWeb - Dementia Information Resource for Oxfordshire

Safety and Independence

Safety in the Home

It is important when considering safety to remember that the person with dementia's independence and dignity are also very important. A balance must be struck. This page has information about measures that maintain both the safety and independence of the person with dementia and their carer.

Home Maintenance and Adaptations

Home adaptations need not be large to have significance. Something as simple as leaving the toilet door open can help the person with dementia to maintain their independence.

Adaptations to the home range from hand and grab rails to wheelchair ramps or specially designed shower and toilet facilities.

An occupational therapist (OT) can visit the home to assess whether items such as handrails, grab rails or level access showers/baths would be helpful. Most people find the OT's visit and subsequent adaptations very helpful, but waiting for the OT assessment can be a frustrating time.

You can contact an OT through Social & Community Services. A person with dementia is entitled to an assessment.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology can be used to help the person with dementia preserve independence, while maintaining safety. Examples include gas shut off devices, door monitors, and flood detectors. The Alzheimer's Society factsheet Assistive technology has further information. The AT Dementia website also provides much useful information and advice on this matter

Dialability Helpline and product demonstration centre.  The Oxfordshire information resource for assistive technology and telecare. Provides an information and advice resource for people of all ages to assist people to remain independent.  Advice for disability management; mobility; holidays; benefits.  Equipment to try before you buy for personal care, seating, mobility and leisure.  By appointment Assessment available with an Occupational Therapist.

Professionals can borrow equipment, but for assessment purposes only.

Contact details:

Oxford Centre for Enablement
Windmill Road

10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Wednesday
1.00pm to 4.00pm, Thursday
closed Friday

Tel.: 01865 763600
Fax: 01865 764730

Contacts: Sue Butterworth and Toby Benn

Signal Catalogue (Leics County Council) Has list of ‘memory jogger’ products such as calendar clocks, key finders etc) You can download this catalogue.

General Upkeep of Your Home

The Anchor Staying Put service is part of Anchor Trust. The scheme offers assistance to older people and people with disabilities to continue to live in their own home. Repairs and adaptations can be made to properties, and assistance can be given in obtaining funding for these, e.g. via grants and benefits advice.

The Small Repairs Service acknowledges that it is often difficult and expensive to call someone out to take care of smaller jobs like fitting a plug, hanging a curtain rail, fixing a tap or installing a grab rail. The Anchor Staying Put Small Repairs Service provides a reliable service at a reasonable price.

More details are available on the website:

Referrals are accepted form occupational therapists, self, or any interested party.

Contact details for Oxford City and West Oxfordshire:

Anchor Staying Put
WODC Depot
Avenue 4
Station Lane
OX28 4BN

Open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Tel.: 01993 709524
Fax: 01993 779915

Contact name: Jo Henderson

Contact details for Cherwell:

Anchor Staying Put
Cherwell District Council Offices
Bodicote House
OX15 4AA

Open 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Tel.: 01295 221660/743
Fax: 01295 221741

Contact name: Penny Price / Jo Henderson

Contact details for South Oxon and Vale of White Horse:

Anchor Staying Put
c/o SODC
Benson Lane
Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BF

Open 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday

Tel.: 01491 823888 (South) or 01491 823889 (Vale)
Fax: 01491 823893

Contact name: Katie Chesher

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Alerting Emergency Services

Care Alarms

People living In Oxford City can benefit from Community Alarms and fall detectors with emergency response. Self Referral:

Contact details:

Oxford City Council Control Centre
Barton Local Housing Office
Underhill Circus

Open 24 hours

Tel.: 01865 742138
Fax: 01865 750781

Email: [email protected]

Contact name: Jenny Robinson

Information about Community Alarm services across Oxfordshire is available through the County Council website.

Carers Emergency Cards

Many carers worry what would happen to the person they care for should they be taken ill or have an accident.

Carers Emergency Cards alert emergency services to the fact that that you are a carer, with someone who relies on you. They have space to fill in your name and address, details of the person you care for, and two people who can be contacted in case of emergency.

The card folds up to credit card size, allowing it to be carried in purse, wallet or pocket. The carer should keep the card with them at all times.

Carers Emergency Cards can be obtained from the Carers Centres.

Message in a Bottle Scheme

The message in a bottle scheme allows you to store essential medical information, and medication details etc in a special bottle which is kept in the fridge. If an ambulance is then needed the crew will know where to find this information (alerted by stickers on front door and fridge).

Message bottles can be obtained from your pharmacist.

ICE Scheme (In Case of Emergency)

If you have a mobile phone you may want to use it to provide emergency staff with contact numbers in case of emergency.

In July 2005 East Anglian Ambulance Service launched the national "In Case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign, following events in London.

All you have to do is store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".

In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who you would want to be contacted.

For more than one contact number use ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, etc.

Carers Safety

Maintaining safety is not just about the person with dementia, if you are a carer your safety is important too. Maintaining carers safety includes issues such as potential damage to your back if lifting the person you care for, and appropriate management of aggressive behaviour, to prevent injury.

It might not always be easy to create the time and distance you need to address your own safety issues as a carer, and you have the right to have your needs assessed by Social & Community Services. This is the chance to have someone outside your situation look at what you are doing for the person you care for, and suggest what support or services are needed to maintain your health and well-being (e.g. training on how to lift properly). The Alzheimer's Society factsheet Looking after Yourself has further information.

Health Advice

For most health concerns your GP will be your first point of contact. In emergencies you can of course ring 999 for an ambulance. If the person with dementia has a minor injury, such as a cut that you think may require stitching, it may be better to seek your GP's advice initially rather than attend A&E, as casualty departments may involve long waits in a potentially confusing environment. If the person with dementia does need to attend A&E make sure that staff are made aware of the dementia diagnosis.

NHS Direct

If you are unsure about whether something needs medical attention, or would like general health advice, you may find it useful to visit the NHS Direct website.

The NHS Direct website is part of the National Health Service, and aims to provide high quality health information and advice.

If you are feeling unwell you can telephone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for individual advice and information, given by nurses, 24 hours a day.

Further Information

The following Alzheimer's Society factsheets also have information that is relevant to this topic:

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