Vulnerable people

Severe winter weather can strike quickly leaving some people vulnerable.  A little planning now can help keep people warm and safe this winter.  The Scottish Government's winter weather website has lots of useful information to help you prepare for severe weather with vulnerable people in mind. 

For many older and disabled people the winter months can be a difficult time but there are a number of services and sources of information that can make life a little bit easier. Take a look at our leaflet Helping Older & Disabled People in Winter  and the Adult Support and Protection Committee ‘Surviving Christmas and New Year booklet

 

Here's a few things that you could do to help:

  • Lend a hand with grocery shopping
  • Or, clear away ice or snow
  • Have the phone numbers handy of anyone you think might appreciate your help

Doing a few small things now, could save a lot of trouble later. Find out more at www.readyscotland.org

Services during severe weather

Our priority is to continue to run our Health & Social Care services as usual during severe weather.  However, sometimes because of difficulties and risk associated with travel or damage to offices caused by severe weather, our teams have the option to work out of different offices or from home. In cases of severe weather disruption a priority service will be put into action where those most at risk of harm or who pose a risk to others will be seen first.  Below are some frequently asked questions that may help you.

Severe weather FAQs - People with additional support needs

Published by: Fife Council

Our priority is to continue to run our Social Work Services as usual during severe weather.  However, sometimes because of difficulties and risk associated with travel or damage to offices caused by severe weather, our teams have the option to work out of different offices or from home. In cases of severe weather disruption a priority service will be put into action where those most at risk of harm or who pose a risk to others will be seen first.

Q.      If services are affected by severe weather, what does the Council do to assist those people who have additional support needs?

Our priority is to continue to run our Social Work Services as usual during severe weather.  However, sometimes because of difficulties and risk associated with travel or damage to offices caused by severe weather, our teams have the option to work out of different offices or from home. In cases of severe weather disruption a priority service will be put into action where those most at risk of harm or who pose a risk to others will be seen first.

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Q.      How will we contact you?

Where there is disruption to services Social Work will try to contact you directly, or your family or nominated neighbour to let you know.

In extreme circumstances if a social work office/centre has to close or a service like meals on wheels can’t get through we will try to contact you to check you have alternative provision in place and, help you to make any necessary arrangements. Information will also be provided on Kingdom FM.

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Q.      How will we get to you?

Visits will be prioritised, but the community alarm service will still be maintained 24/7.

Where the weather is most severe, home care staff will be targeted to those most in need on a locality basis.

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Q.      How do I contact the council?

In bad weather our phone lines will be very busy. If you already use our services and want to find out if bad weather is affecting them, before phoning our helpline, please:

  1. contact your named worker
  2. look for information online (www.fifedirect.org.uk/winter)
  3. listen to local radio Kingdom FM (95.2 & 96.1) • Forth One (97.3) Tay FM (96.4 & 102.8)

If you still need to contact us call 03451 551503 (9am-5pm) or our emergency out of hours service 03451 550099.

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Q.      I cannot get out of my house - where can I get help to obtain essential shopping or prescription medicines?

Fife Council would encourage families and communities to offer support to their elderly neighbours where possible. People who already have support from Social Work Services should speak to their usual contact.

Contact your local pharmacy to see if they can help with prescription medicines.

In an absolute emergency people who do not have anyone to get them prescriptions or essential shopping should contact the Social Work Contact Centre during working hours.

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Q.      I am worried about the extra cost of fuel for heating. Will I get help with this?

There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It's worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.

The Winter Fuel Payment is a tax free payment (once yearly) to help older people keep warm during winter. It is provided by the government to those who are eligible. For more information visit www.gov.uk

Cold Weather Payments can help people who are in receipt of certain benefits with their additional heating costs during winter. For more information visit www.gov.uk

Fife Cares offers FREE home safety checks to vulnerable people in Fife, and to families with children under 5. This service offers home and fire safety advice and equipment where appropriate (free of charge) to help reduce the risk of fire or unintentional injury, particularly over the winter months. Referrals can be made by any service or individual here

 

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Q.      In the past few days I have not seen, and cannot get in touch with, an elderly neighbour or friend. What should I do?

If you contact the Council we will make the necessary checks.

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Q.      My carers aren't from the council - will they still come when the weather gets bad?

If you need any help or support, please contact your private sector provider in the first instance.  We keep in close contact with them and other voluntary organisations during bad weather so, if there is disruption, we will work together to keep in contact with you.
 

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