Sources of help if you, or someone you care for, feels vulnerable
If you are concerned that you - or someone you care for - is either at risk of being mistreated, is not being looked after properly or is a victim of abuse, then please raise a safeguarding alert.
There are also steps that you can take in your own home to feel safer, including using equipment and assistive technology. You can find more information on how this could help on our Community Alarms and Telecare Equipment webpage.
You can also find a list of resources providing support to keep you safe in your home, on our West Berkshire Directory.
On this page:
- Rogue Traders and Scams
- Anti-Social Behaviour
- Help Yourself Feel Safer In and Around Your Home
- Making Sure Vital Electrical Equipment and Water is Not Cut Off
Rogue Traders and Scams
Sometimes, particularly as we get older, we don't feel secure in our own homes. The news often details cases of rogue traders who try to 'rip you off', intimidate or mislead you to make you buy things you don't want or need.
If you feel you are being pressured into having work done, or to buy goods that you don't want, ask the trader to leave. It is illegal for a trader to stay at your home once you have asked them to leave. If you feel at all threatened by a trader in your home, then telephone 999.
Our Citizens Advice website has advice on spotting, and reporting, scams.
Anti-social behaviour can mean a number of things depending on a lot of different factors in different circumstances. Broadly speaking, it means an individual or group persistently acting in a way that causes, or is likely to cause, alarm or distress.
If you feel like you are being affected, don't suffer in silence - find out how to report anti-social behaviour online. A number of different agencies work together to help tackle this problem.
Talk to our Building Communities Together Team if you have concerns.
Help Yourself Feel Safer In and Around Your Home
Electricity, whether through overloaded sockets or equipment in poor condition, is now the major cause of accidental fires in UK homes. Extension leads trailing across the floor are also a trip hazard.
There are lots of electrical safety checks you can undertake yourself to make sure things are safe at home.
You may qualify for a Safe and Well Visit from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) - the visit involves assessing your home for possible risks and help to address them to stay safe.
The fire service recommend that you have smoke alarms fitted in your home. Smoke alarms warn you of problems before things get too bad, helping you get out of your home and get help in time. They are easy to install, and are widely available from many supermarkets and DIY stores. If you need help fitting them, the West Berkshire Directory has a list of handyman services that can help. Age UK - Handyperson Service accept referrals and calls from older people, families and carers for their Handyperson service. Checkatrade is a good way to choose a vetted and approved tradesperson.
Gas and Carbon Monoxide Safety
Gas suppliers have a duty to provide free gas safety checks to certain elderly people. Only use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to fit, fix or service your gas appliances.
Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that is very difficult to detect - you cannot see, smell or taste it. If you have a wood or coal burning fire, or gas or oil burning appliances such as a gas boiler, heater or cooker, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning consider installing an alarm.
Making Sure Vital Electrical Equipment and Water is Not Cut Off
If you might rely on electrical equipment, such as a home dialysis machine, artificial ventilator or adjustable bed on a permanent basis, it might be helpful to register for Priority Services with your electricity and water suppliers.
When registered for Priority Services, suppliers will do their utmost to prevent your supply from going off, and, if it does, they'll make sure that you get your power back on as a matter of urgency.
Each energy supplier maintains their own register, and you will find their contact details on the back of your energy bill.
You can register yourself on SSE's free Priority Services Register, and they will be aware that you rely on your electricity supply for your equipment. You can also register online for Priority Services with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) by filling in one form on the SSEN website, here.
Thames Water, and many other water suppliers, also offer a similar service for your water supply.
Do you still need help? Get in touch with us and tell us what you're looking for.