Vital help for Luton’s elderly and disabled residents with Age Concern

Every year, thanks to funding from Luton Rising, Age Concern Luton is able to help nearly 1,500 elderly or disabled residents of the town with free repairs, maintenance and general assistance.

The innovative scheme was set up to make a difference at an individual level by tackling those small jobs that, if ignored, can have a huge impact on an individual’s quality of life, allowing them to remain independent in their own home.

“Investing money in what many people would call ‘odd jobs’ may not seem very dramatic, but it’s had a huge impact for many of the frailest people here in Luton who are able to continue their lives independently and securely.”

Colette McKeaveney, director of Age Concern Luton

Age Concern delivers hands-on help in the home including;

  • – home adaptations for the disabled and frail
  • – minor plumbing and electrical works
  • – adjustments to prevent slips, trips and falls
  • – improvements to make homes sufficiently secure to reduce the risk of crime
  • – gardening work to assist with home maintenance
  • – resources such as portable heaters to support poorer households

They’ve also carried out work really can make a difference to a person’s life such as:

  • – clearing cluttered properties
  • – moving furniture to make space for hospital beds or nursing equipment in the home
  • – purchasing and installing equipment on behalf of clients

Reg’s story

Reg was very private and did not admit visitors to his home.

When he suffered a severe flood in his flat, his insurance company’s plumbers refused to enter the property on the grounds of health and safety, as it had become cluttered with Reg’s many treasures.

But handymen tidied up sufficiently to enable the water to be switched off, and then worked for days to clear enough space so that the main repair could be done.

They also negotiated with the water company and household insurers on his behalf.

Reg still had a lot of possessions but gradually reduced it with the help of volunteers. Colleagues in the home support team cleared space in his bedroom so that, for the first time in years, he could sleep in his bed.

One volunteer, Tony, visited Reg weekly to help him decide what he could part with.

Colette McKeaveney, Director of Age Concern Luton, said: “The funding Luton Rising provides towards the home repair service has achieved some amazing outcomes for older people:

  • – a reduction in the risk of falling and subsequent hospital admission
  • – reduced risk of injury from falls
  • – greater peace of mind as a result of home security improvements
  • – safer discharge from hospital
  • – slower decline in physical health and more opportunities to remain living safely at home

Luton Rising support Age Concern Luton as a part of their community investment programme, which now has an annual budget of approximately £7.4m. Find out more about our impact here: