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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 211

Date:- 24  July 2005

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Salesmen targeting vulnerable and elderly

DOOR to door intercom salesmen are continuing to target vulnerable elderly residents in Warrington. The latest being a 90 year old lady. Warrington Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard following a number of reports of a salesman who appears to be targeting the elderly. 

The company in question is not connected with the Council, although they give the impression that they are. The company is selling an intercom for £40, which is fitted into the front door. The opportunistic salesman visited one resident, in her 90's, who was expecting a visit from the Council to fit a grab rail to her property. She lives in a development of bungalows, which are lived in by elderly people. 

Speaking this week the lady's son said:- "My mother is quite easily confused and as she was expecting a visit from the Council she agreed for the man to do the work. He has fitted an intercom and, although I don't have any complaint about the work, I think it is wrong for salesmen to mither old people like this."

Edwina Greenwood, Principal Trading Standards Officer added:- "The best advice we can offer is not to buy from people on the doorstep. Consumers should allow themselves the opportunity to compare prices and to decide whether they really want what they are being offered. We had recently issued a message via the Consumer Alert Network to warn people about the sales techniques used by these people."

Cllr Pat Wright, Executive Member for Community Services, said:- "We are particularly concerned that these salesmen are targeting vulnerable people in our community using the trusted reputation of Warrington Borough Council. The best advice we can offer is to avoid buying products from the doorstep. If in doubt, contact Trading Standards on 01925 442678 for further help and information."

Consumers are warned:-

* Do not give work to anyone who knocks on your door and tells you that you have a problem

* Do not agree to any work if you did not already intend to have the job done anyway

* Get more than one quote, in writing

* Use traders recommended to you by family or friends

* Make sure you have full details of the trader including name, address, and landline telephone number

* Ignore special discounts for signing on the day

* Do not sign up on the spur of the moment

* Discuss the work with family or friends

* Get a receipt detailing the work done

89 years old asks "Help Please..."

DO you remember Lord Street in the 1930’s?  Eric (Johnny) Reid is looking for anyone who used to spend their Saturday evenings walking up and down Lord Street between 1932 and 1937. Did you know him or remember those evenings? If so, please contact him via the following email address:-  julieholland50@hotmail.com

Older people urged to rise up against falls

OLDER people could cut their risk of serious injury or even death through falls by following some simple preventative advice, say chartered physiotherapists. Figures show 2.7 million people need hospital treatment following an accident in the home every year. The biggest cause of these accidents is falls, which account for 40% of non-fatal injuries and 46% of deaths. Most deaths from falls involve the older age groups and 80% of victims are aged over 65. 

To mark National Falls Awareness Day on 19 July, physiotherapists are urged older people to take action now to prevent becoming a statistic. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) produced a factsheet outlining ways to identify whether you are at risk of a fall and how to prevent it. 

Bhanu Ramaswamy, consultant physiotherapist and spokesperson for the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Working with Older People (AGILE), says:- "Falls are a major cause of death among people over 75 and most occur within the home. Many falls are preventable and there are things we can do to keep ourselves safe from harm as we get older."

Bhanu says as we age we don't necessarily become less able. "The idea that we should slow down and take things easy as we get older is a common myth. If we stay active and continue to put our bodies through full ranges of motion, we help maintain the nutritional input to joints, muscles and nerves, which enable movement to occur. Exercise will help maintain and improve balance, and help reduce the possibility of falls. To minimise the risk of falling, keep fit by taking up an enjoyable activity, preferably in the company of someone who can motivate. Eating a balanced diet and checking the home for hazards are equally important."

If you are concerned about falling, whether for yourself or as a carer of an older person, it is important that individual risks are assessed and steps are taken to minimise the occurrence of falls. The CSP's factsheet provides information on identifying risks and seeking professional advice and help. 

The factsheet on preventing falls can be downloaded from the CSP's website. Visit:- www.csp.org.uk for a free copy or call 020 7306 6666. 

MOTABILITY OPERATIONS LAUNCHES SUMMER SPECTACULAR

MOTABILITY, the leading car scheme for disabled people, and its network of car dealers, have developed a diary of dealer events throughout summer 2005. Motorists in South Wirral can enjoy a Honda Family Weekend at the Two Mills Honda Dealership on Parkgate Road on the 30 and 31 July. Alongside a range of cars available on the Motability Scheme, and newly adapted vehicles, will be expert advisors to answer any questions.

The summer events take place in accredited Motability car dealerships throughout the UK and offer disabled motorists, and those looking to improve their mobility with a new car, the opportunity to view the range of vehicles available on the Motability scheme. Taking place across the country, dealer events range from Open Day’s with some guest appearances from celebrities such as Tanni Grey-Thompson. 

Commenting, Mike Betts Chief Executive of Motability Operations, says:- “The Dealer events are a great way to raise awareness of the Motability Scheme and allow potential and existing customers to both enjoy their service, and find out more information about what having a car on the Motability Scheme includes. It’s also a chance for customers to see the extensive range of cars available on the Scheme and to meet a Motability specialist who will be available to give practical and useful advice.”

To find out further details of your nearest event visit:- www.motability.co.uk.

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