Gazette 69: JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2010

Community Care Magazine for Elderly and Disabled: GAZETTE No.69


Celebrating 30 years of service

Thirty years ago, in 1980, the life of Able Community Care began with a cardboard box on a kitchen table.

All letters were handwritten, all records were on small cards in a red box and advertisements for the care service that was going to be provided were placed in local newspapers in Norfolk.

During the first few months Able Domestic Employment Agency, as it was called, was aiming to provide anything from a babysitter to a cleaner.

However, in the first few months we received numerous telephone calls enquiring as to whether we were able to provide care for an older parent or for a person who was disabled and needed help in their home.

The enquirers were not looking for a couple of hours a week, but were seeking to find a service that would provide domestic, personal and social care and eliminate the risk of the older or disabled person living on their own.

After some thought, the idea of a continuous, live-in housekeeper/carer scheme emerged and the company made the offer of providing such a service on a fortnightly, rotational basis to an elderly gentleman in Essex, an elderly lady in Suffolk and an elderly couple in Norfolk.

The promise was that if we were not able to find a suitable person, we would come and provide the fortnights cover ourselves.

During these first three months we were able to cover everyone without a break in service and from then on, we have never provided any other service, just a live-in carer service.

Since 1980 we have enabled thousands of elderly and disabled people to have the choice to remain living in their own home and community.

The service now operates throughout mainland UK and the Channel Islands.

The 30th anniversary is a "pearl" anniversary and throughout the year in each Gazette we will be offering small giveaways related to the "pearl" factor starting with packets of sweet pea seeds called Pearl.

If you would like to receive a packet of these seeds please email to or call us at 01603 764567.

We have 10 packets to give away.

Easy Access Guide Britain

The Easy Access Guide Britain features in excess of 800 accessible places to stay for people with disabilities and older people with mobility problems.

Hotels, B & B accommodation, guest houses, cottages, camping sites and caravan parks are all in the Guide. In addition there are location maps, regional information and ideas for days out.

The Guide can be obtained from the Tourism Board, should be available to read in your local library and at the time of writing was available second hand from http://www/ from 29p plus p&p.

Re-discovering the humble jigsaw puzzle

When was the last time you slotted in the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle? Chances are, like many, that doing puzzles is an activity that has long since been forgotten. But tip out the pieces of a new jigsaw and the happy memories soon come flooding back.

Jigsaws are an excellent way to challenge your mind, something we are all encouraged to do as we get older. But dig a little deeper and this pastime has other benefits. They can for example, help with hand/eye co-ordination and spatial awareness. Patients who have suffered with strokes are often encouraged to do jigsaws by doctors.

They are also a way of "escaping". The Queen is said to have a jigsaw puzzle "on the go" and the author Dame Margaret Drabble has found they have helped her battle with depression.

Alljigsaw Puzzles are giving away three 1000 piece jigsaws to the first three people to get in contact with Able Community Care so call 01603 764567. Alljigsaw Puzzles are also giving away to all readers 5% off all jigsaw purchases for the next six months. To contact them visit:

The Humble Onion

If you have a knife which is showing signs of rust, push it into an onion two or three times and the discolouration should disappear.

If you have painted a room and the smell of paint is strong, halve an onion and put in a large bowl or bucket.

Fill halfway with water and the smell will disappear. If painting a cupboard or cabinet just put half an onion inside to get rid of the paint smell.

Some guidance if you are a victim of crime

If you come home and think there is a burglar in your home do not go inside. Go to neighbours or return to your car and call the police.

If you are sure the burglar has left then go inside your house but do not touch anything and call the police immediately.

After the police have gone make a list of the missing items and contact your insurance company. Make sure you have asked the police for a crime number.

If you are mugged/robbed in the street try to remember anything you can about the burglar, what he/she looked like, clothing, distinguishing marks, etc.

If you have had your keys taken change your locks.

If debit/credit cards have gone notify your bank, etc.

If your phone is taken tell your network company and the police and it can be cancelled immediately.

There are support schemes for victims of crime which can give practical and emotional help. Victim Support line can be reached on 0845 3030 900.

If you want to make your home as secure as is possible contact the Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station.

Gym Buddy Scheme

The English Federation of Disability Sport Operating Company has received funding from the Dept. of Health's Section 64 Grant to support the Gym Buddy Scheme.

The Gym Buddy Scheme is set up to provide disabled people with volunteer support to enable them to access appropriate activities in a gym setting.

It is hoped to extend the Scheme countrywide and for further details about accessing the Scheme or about becoming a volunteer for the Scheme contact:

Jules Twells IFI National Project Officer, English Federation of Disability Sport, Sir John Beckwith Centre for Sport Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU. Email: Tel: 01509 22 6137 Mobile: 07921 973 398 or visit

The Unique Day of the Week Clock

The DayClock is a day of the week clock that may be of help to people suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer's and other forms of memory loss.

With its clear 7 day clock design this unique day of the week wall clock simply keeps track of the passing days.

If you have a family member or friend that suffers from Dementia, Alzheimer's or other forms of memory loss you can get one of these clocks from:

DayClocks UK, PO Box 49755, London N20 0QF Tel: 02083689387 Fax: 08701339218 email:

Volunteer to Help the British Heart Foundation

If you can spare as little as two hours a week to become a volunteer the BHF would like to hear from you and can offer a range of volunteering options to you.

For example volunteers are needed for volunteering in a BHF shop where as a volunteer as well as helping on the sales floor, there are behind the scenes roles, such as pricing and sorting stock. Many shops have specialist roles in their book, music, furniture and electrical departments. If you are a driver, you could help by collecting donated stock. You'll be working as part of a great team and will need to be able to make a regular daytime commitment to your shop.

Or you may like to volunteer to help at a BHF fundraising event.

The BHF puts on over 70 fundraising events across the UK each year, such as bike rides, walks and jogs. Most of them are outdoor and at weekends and volunteers are essential to helping make the day happen!

Activities are varied, and include registering participants, marshalling and giving out refreshments. You will be asked to give between 4 and 8 hours on the day. There's a great team atmosphere and huge appreciation from event participants and organisers for your work.

These are just two of the volunteering opportunities that are available and for more choice of how you may be able to help call 020 7554 0000 or visit the BHF website at:

Odd Foreign Coins

Many of us return from our foreign holidays with low value currency notes and coins. We mean to put them in the charity box at the airport as we leave but usually forget.

The result is that the currency lies around at home and usually next time we go abroad we forget to take it with us.

If you can relate to this you may like to know that Help the Aged collects notes and coins of any currency and also old European currency that is no longer valid.

If you would like to donate any currency that you have you can quite simply take it along to your nearest Help the Aged or Age Concern shop who will be pleased to receive it.

Myra's recipe - Fresh Leek Soup

2oz (50gm) butter
1½lbs (675gm) clean and finely chopped leeks
1oz (25gm) flour
1pt homemade stock or 2 chicken cubes dissolved in 1 pt of water
½ pt of milk
Salt and pepper to taste
A little cream if desired

Melt the butter in a large saucepan
Add the leeks and fry gently stirring occasionally
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes
Gradually add the stock stir occasionally
Add seasoning and milk
Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins.
Taste, adjust seasoning if required, add cream if liked and enjoy!

The British Computer Association of the Blind

The British Computer Association of the Blind (BCAB) provides information and support for blind and partially sighted computer users.

BCAB aims to promote the use of computers and technology amongst blind and partially sighted people. They encourage people to explore the use of computers at work, in education and at home.

BCAB stays up to date with recent developments in computing and technology, identifying relevant information and resources for blind and partially sighted people.

Full membership costs £21 per year and is open to all visually impaired people. For more information go to their website at:

Thank you...

To Paula Mason for the "extra mile" you went on behalf of one of our clients – thank you.

You have won a prize....

You may hear these words from someone calling you on your telephone, by reading them in a letter you have received or by an email but it is likely that you could be targeted as part of a competition scam.

Should any of the following apply to you on the phone or appear in your letter or email then you are likely to be in the position of being the target of a scam:

Remember, in a legitimate contest you do not have to purchase a product to qualify for a prize.

If any of the above apply, it is likely you are part of a scam. So beware!!


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