You need to make sure that your home is maintained properly so that it is safe for you to live there. If it needs repairs, you can get advice and help.
- If you are elderly and/or disabled and have a low income, you can get advice and help from the housing department of your borough or district council. Whether you are a council tenant or own your own home, they can advise whether you qualify for a grant to help pay for the work and if so, how to apply for one. They can recommend a reliable building contractor and check that work has been done to a good standard. They will also be able to tell you whether there is a Home Improvement Agency or Handyperson / Handyman Scheme operating in your area.
- If you are a private tenant, you should contact your landlord. If they are unwilling to carry out the work needed, you should contact your local council housing department which may help your landlord carry out essential work. If you are a Council or Housing Association tenant you should contact your landlord.
- If you are paying for repairs yourself, you can still get advice and information from your local council. Staff may also be able to suggest local builders who are expert in the kind of repair work that you need.
- Never agree to repairs to roofing or driveways offered at the door. Always go to a reputable trader.
Find a reliable local trader through Hampshire Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme. All the businesses in this scheme have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way.
Search for a trader or business online or call 03454 04 05 06 for a free directory.
You may also want to consider adaptations to your house.
For help with housework, you can find reliable cleaning, ironing and laundry services, which have been checked and vetted by Hampshire Trading Standards, in the Buy with Confidence directory. Search online or call 03454 04 05 06 for a free directory. You can also look in Yellow Pages or search Yell. If you are going to employ your own cleaner, rather than use an agency, always ask for and check references.
You can also search the Home Support category in our Community directory for community groups or organisations who may may be able to offer you help with housework, pet care or minor repairs.
You may also find that there is equipment you can buy which will help you with domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking and laundry. Explore our Equipment House.
Some of the home care agencies listed in our online directory provide domestic help amongst their services. However, if you only need domestic help you may find it cheaper to use a domestic agency. You can employ these services to come in on a regular or one-off basis.
Good Neighbours Support Service
Good Neighbours groups are independent voluntary groups which offer neighbourly help to people in their local communities. They have groups in all parts of Hampshire, excluding Southampton. They aim to provide a dependable and trustworthy service which enables people to stay independent in their own homes and helps prevent isolation.
Some groups specialise in one activity while others offer a range of services. Because the groups are made up of volunteers, the sort of help they can offer varies widely but often includes: shopping, visiting, befriending, running lunch clubs, sitting services, collecting prescriptions, driving people to their GP and to hospital appointments, walking the dog and minor repairs.
Visit their website to find out if there is a group near you and what help they can offer. Alternatively, telephone 023 9289 9671.
If you are finding it difficult to maintain your garden because of your age or disability, there are organisations that may be able to help.
- Age Concern Hampshire maintains a list of gardening schemes and contacts. Freephone 0800 328 7154 (10am to 3pm Monday to Friday).
- Councils of Voluntary Service (CVSs) also have contacts in your local area that can provide gardening support.
- Thrive, a national charity, has information and tips on making your garden easier to manage as well as details of the equipment and tools which will be particularly helpful.
- Hampshire Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme has lists of reliable gardeners. Search online or call 03454 04 05 06. When asking for quotes, remember to ask if there is a cost to remove any garden refuse and if specific gardening equipment is needed. Find out exactly what they will and will not do (for example, not all gardening services offer hedge cutting).
Utility suppliers and household emergencies
• Southern Electric and Gas offers extra help and advice to customers who are elderly, disabled or have special medical needs. To join their Priority Service Register, call 0800 622 838.
• British Gas offers information and home visits to provide safety checks and advice on adaptors and gadgets to make gas equipment easier to use for elderly, disabled and/or blind people. Call the Energy Efficiency Advice Line on 0800 072 8629
• BT has online information and advice for people with a disability or impairment or you can call 0800 800 150.
• BT has a Free Priority Fault Repair Scheme for people who rely on the telephone for health or mobility reasons. Call 0800 800 150.
Household emergencies – who to call:
- Southern Water Emergency Line 0330 303 0368
- Portsmouth Water Emergency Line 023 9247 7999
- Sembcorp Bournemouth Water Emergency Line 01202 590059
- Gas emergencies 0800 111 999
- Electricity – call Southern Electric for emergencies and power outages on 08000 72 72 82
- Electricity – call Consumer Direct for a local electrical contractor 03454 04 05 06
- FLOODLINE 0345 988 1188. Phone the Environment Agency’s floodline to sign up for flood warnings and get simple advice on what to do before, during and after a flood.
Caring for your pet
• There are many companies who offer pet walking or sitting services listed in the Yellow Pages or Yell.
• If you have difficulty exercising your dog, you could also try your local Good Neighbour Group or local church to see if there is anyone who can help. Telephone 023 9289 9671.
• If you can no longer look after your pet, you could contact the Cinnamon Trust. The Trust can find both long and short-term foster carers for pets, who will keep their owners informed about their welfare. If your pet dies and you want another, the Trust can link you with an animal whose current owner can no longer keep it. The Trust is a charity and welcomes donations from the people it helps. Telephone 01736 757900.
• The Blue Cross finds homes for unwanted cats, dogs, small pets and horses across the UK. They help each pet find the right person for them. Telephone 0300 790 9903.