Let's Work Together - Warning Bells

    How to spot if a person might be cold or living in fuel poverty

    • Only heating one room, even if central heating is present
    • No sign they are using heating appliances in their home
    • Cold to the touch, breathing problems, wearing additional layers, winter clothing or blankets
    • Damp patches, condensation or blocked vents in the house

    How to spot if a person might be struggling with housing repairs

    • Complaints from neighbours
    • Unwilling to open doors or allow access into their home
    • External signs, such as rubbish or untidy garden
    • No sign they are using heating appliances in their home
    • Slipped slates or tiles
    • Leaking gutters
    • Rotten, draughty windows and doors
    • Uneven paths
    • Signs of damp and mould
    • Old/damaged electrical wiring or sockets
    • Old/damaged gas appliances

    How to spot if a person might be struggling with debt

    • Little obvious food in the house
    • Few possessions
    • Or, excess of costly possessions in poor quality housing
    • Poor or untidy clothing
    • Unwilling to open doors or allow access into their home
    • Living in one room 
    • No sign they are using heating appliances in their home 
    • Stacks of unopened post

    How to spot if a person might be at risk from falls

    • Obvious bruises on body
    • Using furniture to hold onto when moving around 
    • Feeling Dizzy 
    • Generally unsteady on feet when walking or moving 
    • Lack of hand rails or walking aids 
    • Cluttered living space 
    • Struggles to get out of a chair 
    • Does not pick feet up when walking 
    • Reports problems with their balance

    How to spot if a person might be at high risk from fire

    • No working smoke alarms
    • History of previous fires - Burnt cooking utensils, clothes or carpets
    • Blocked exits 
    • Open fires 
    • Smoking materials discarded carelessly 
    • Overloaded sockets
    • Old electrical appliances 
    • Smoke alarm goes off whilst cooking 
    • Tea towel over cooker
    • Using traditional chip pan 
    • Signs of alcohol or drug use 
    • Mobility or sensory impairment 
    • Had a life changing event 
    • Not had a Home Fire Risk Check

    How to spot if a person might be afraid of crime or anti-social behaviour

    • Tells you they are frightened of crime or anti-social behaviour 
    • Tells you their life has changed due to crime or anti-social behaviour

    How to spot if a person might be at high risk from crime

    • Door unlocked for anyone to walk in 
    • Doesn’t check your identity 
    • Key is left in the door for anyone to find or use 
    • Signs back of premises is insecure - broken fence panels etc. 
    • Signs house is insecure - broken window locks etc. 
    • Tells you they keep cash in the house 
    • Has received cold callers or high pressure sales calls 
    • Has engaged with a tradesman who cold called
    • Has given bank details to cold callers 
    • Has responded to unsolicited emails or competitions asking for money or bank details 
    • Feels under pressure to give cash or valuables to family or carers

    How to spot if a person might want guidance on smoking

    • Ashtrays in multiple rooms 
    • Overflowing ashtrays 
    • Cigarette packaging discarded carelessly 
    • Ash on floor 
    • Smell of smoke in house 
    • Smell of smoke on breath 
    • Burns on the carpet

    How to spot if a person might want guidance on alcohol dependency and substance misuse

    • Bottles of alcohol around house 
    • Large amounts of discarded bottles next to bins 
    • Smell of alcohol on breath 
    • Slurred speech 
    • Erratic behaviour 
    • Comments about drinking/drug habits 
    • Evidence of drugs or paraphernalia 
    • Unusual smells on breath, body or clothes
    • Bloodshot eyes or pupils larger or smaller than usual
    • Difficult as this can be a hidden issue.

    How to spot if a person might want guidance on weight issues

    • Struggles to walk and get around the house 
    • Sits a lot to recover after moving 
    • Breathing difficulties 
    • Problems sleeping 
    • Empty food packaging discarded carelessly
    • Comments on lack of physical activity 
    • Doesn’t cook regularly

    How to spot if a carer might be struggling to cope

    • Feeling/helpless/hopeless/down/frustrated 
    • Admits to being short-tempered 
    • Talking about never having any time for themselves
    • Looking tired or expressing feeling tired a lot/all of the time 
    • Looking neglected themselves (often with the person they care for looking immaculate)
    • Feeling that they are losing the person they care for
    • Talking about getting up a lot at night to care for the person
    • Discusses the level of need/agitation of the person cared for
    • Appearing unwell/chronic health problems 
    • May be struggling with everyday tasks such as shopping, housework and gardening due to caring role

    How to spot if a person might be socially isolated and/or lonely

    • Lives alone 
    • No support network of family friends or neighbours 
    • Unable to leave house unassisted 
    • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness 
    • May appear depressed/neglected appearance 
    • Little or excessive communication 
    • Recently bereaved 
    • Reduced sense of purpose 
    • Sadness 
    • Chronic health problems resulting in poor mobility

    How to spot signs of Domestic Abuse

    • Injuries which seems inconsistent with the explanations 
    • Evidence of multiple injuries
    • Minimisation of the extent of injuries 
    • Presents as frightened, excessively anxious, depressed or distressed
    • Passive or afraid of their partner 
    • Partner appears aggressive and overly dominant
    • If a disclosure of domestic abuse is made always refer to Staffordshire Women’s Aid 24 Hour Helpline - 0870 2700 123

    How to spot if a person may not be getting the most from their medicines

    • Medicines spread through the home
    • Medicines running out at different times of the month 
    • Medicines found in dustbins, ashtrays, behind cushions
    • Empty medicine containers in the home
    • More than two month’s supply of medicine in the home
    • Taking medicines at irregular times during the day 
    • Lots of medicines in the ‘medicine cabinet
    • Medicines coming from several different pharmacies
    • Medicines running out sooner than expected 
    • Medicines left in blister packs when they should have been taken
    • Falling over
    • Sickness and dizziness
    • Extra sleepiness during the day

    For more information about Let’s Work Together in the Stafford District please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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