Care and Repair exists primarily to meet the needs of older or disabled homeowners and to support all older and disabled people in living independently in their own home. Older homeowners are most likely to live in unfit housing yet, if they are receiving income support, there is no element to cover repair and maintenance. The health impact of cold, damp and unfit homes on older people is considerable and the disruption of a move, even if possible, may not be beneficial.
Care and Repair assists the older person to assess their options, obtain finance and supports them through the repair or adaptation process. We are an independent charity and much of our work is as a local Home Improvement Agency. Support from Manchester, Wigan and formerly Trafford Councils has helped us build services in each of those boroughs. (We no longer provide a service in Trafford.)
While our services are tailored to each borough in which we work, we offer three main services under the broad description of Home Improvement Agency (HIA).
Home Repairs (or Adaptations) Support
This service helps older or disabled householders with major property repairs and improvements. We assist with work planning, recommending a reliable contractor and access to subsidised loans from the council or other financial assistance. We can give the names of reputable contractors to residents who then manage the works themselves.
This service meets the needs of any older person for small DIY jobs that they can no longer carry out themselves such as changing light-bulbs, dripping taps, sticking doors, and fitting of grab-rails, key-safes, draught-proofing and small joinery work. Depending on the subsidy we receive this service is free to eligible older people (Manchester) or costs just £15 (Wigan) with users also paying at cost for the materials needed.
Independent Living (also known as casework)
This gives that extra help to people, often owner-occupiers, who need guidance to find the services they need to remain independent in their own home. We help them to navigate confusing eligibility criteria, fill in complex forms, apply for welfare benefits or charitable support and reduce isolation by linking to local groups and activities.