A: Basic Living Skills
The service user may have concerns or difficulties with maintaining their accomodation, shopping, cooking and laundry. It is important to take the time to address these issues.
1 Training for basic independent living skills
Some homeless accommodation providers, and in particular transitional accommodation providers, may provide independent living skills courses offering basic training in areas such as managing change, furnishing a flat, paying bills and money management, communi-cation skills, basic health, cooking and nutrition, basic safety precautions etc. Check with the various services to see what courses may be available to service users. (See Listings: Accommodation/ Homelessness).
Training programmes, basic cookery programmes and money management programmes are also provided by many community centres and faith-based organi-sations; these programmes are often free of charge. Check with local Citizens Information Centres for more information on local courses.
2 House maintenance and furniture
Good quality and inexpensive furniture can be bought in various places such as the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and Oxfam second-hand shops.
Alternatively, they may be available for free on www.dublinwaste.ie or on www.jumbletown.ie. The furniture advertised on these websites must be collected and the service user may need someone to help them with this task.
The Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme may also provide assistance with certain once-off or urgent costs if furniture needs to be purchased. Contact the CWO for more information.
SVP can also provide furniture or funding for new homes. Further information can be found on www.svp.ie/Contact-Us.aspx
Where the service user needs to know how to report maintenance issues the case manager should discuss this issue with them and provide them with infor-mation on which agency or landlord they should contact.
3 General cleaning and housekeeping
How a person presents themselves often provides a good indication of their well-being. If someone is having a problem with managing their cleanliness, it may indicate that other health issues need to be addressed.
As a case manager, your first step is to make the person aware that a serious problem with lack of cleanliness in their accommodation could affect their residency. If children are living in the home, there may also be an issue in relation to child protection.
If the problem persists, it may be necessary to contact a public health nurse. Vulnerable people in the community, particularly the elderly who are in need of help with day-to-day tasks can avail of a home help service. The home help may visit for a couple of hours a day to do some housework or shopping, or they may provide personal care assistance with dressing, bathing etc. For further information on this service, contact the public health nurse.
4 Disability and housing adaptation
Where housing has to be adapted in order to make it suitable for a person with a physical, sensory or intel-lectual disability, the local authority will provide a housing adaptation grant. This will enable the service user to carry out changes to the property such as making it wheelchair accessible, adding a ground floor bathroom or toilet, installing a stair lift etc.
Generally, there is no income limit for housing adaptation grant eligibility. However, local authorities may apply income limits at their discretion and therefore it will be necessary to check with the relevant local authority to see whether an income limit applies. If the service user is a local authority tenant, the local authority will meet the entire cost.
The three grant aid schemes provided are as follows:
- Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme for People with a Disability
- Mobility Aids Housing Grant Scheme
- Housing Aid for Older People
Grant application forms are available directly from the local authority.