Staying independent at home – how home adaptations can help

Home is a central feature of our life…

Home is our sanctuary. A safe place to weather the storms of life. If you have lived there a long time, it’s a place filled with memories. That is why we feel so strongly about helping people to stay in the comfort of their own homes and live independently for longer. This is where home adaptations come in.

In later life, most of us will be affected by health and mobility issues that limit our ability to look after ourselves as we once did. But there are many modifications that can be done around the house to make it more accessible. We want to enable you to carry on living in the place you love. In the last 30 years, we have helped thousands of people to make changes. Things like garage conversions, home extensions, widening doorways, bathroom adaptations, downstairs toilets, hand rails, and anything else you may need.

‘Thinking about the future’

By working with We Care Home Improvements, not only will the end result be life-changing, but we also take care of the whole process from start to finish. It’s our aim to provide you with complete peace of mind. We can provide minor adaptations, like grab rails and ramps or manage larger projects.

Your personal project manager will work with you to assess your needs and create a completely bespoke home improvement plan for you. They will also manage all the tradespeople and ensure that they get a fair price and the work is done to an excellent standard. We always work with people we trust who will respect your home. So you can rest assured that everyone we work with has been vetted through a rigorous process by our team.

Next steps

Let us help you to stay living independently at home – for longer…

  • Simply call us on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team to find out how we can help you. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • Alternatively, you can visit our Bristol showroom to see some examples of our beautiful bathrooms and talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team. Contact the team to arrange an appointment.

Everything you need to know about adapted bathrooms

Adapted bathrooms can help make life easier

It’s something that none of us relishes the thought of, but in later life small everyday activities can become much harder.

Your bathroom can often be the first place that becomes more challenging for you to use. You may find things like getting in and out of a bath can suddenly make washing very difficult. This is when many people benefit from bathroom improvements such as hand rails, grab rails, easy access (sometimes called level-access) showers or wet rooms.

At We Care Home Improvements our focus is to give you the freedom to live independently and safely in your own home. Even simple changes in your bathroom can be life-changing.

Are adapted bathrooms clinical looking and unattractive?

We have helped customers with adapted bathrooms for over 30 years. We always work very closely with our customers, considering their needs and considerations every step of the way. Just because you are having an accessible or adapted bathroom, that doesn’t mean you want your home to look less stylish than it did before. At the core of what we do is to make sure your new bathroom is not only designed for your needs, but it’s also designed beautifully. We take pride in offering bathrooms that are both practical and contemporary in their look and feel.

Do I need to get in lots of different quotes from tradespeople?

No! Everything is taken care of. Your own dedicated project manager will ensure that you receive a bathroom design completely tailored to your needs. Both now and in the future.

We have a team of trusted tradespeople that we regularly work with providing great quality at a fair price. We understand how important it is to be able to trust the people who come into your home. That’s why our preferred builders and plumbers are all personally vetted by us. We’ll take charge of everything, from quotes and timings and liaising with your contractor until your bathroom is complete.

You will be kept informed every step of the way so there is no confusion. You can rest assured that our priority is to make the least disruption possible in your home.

Next steps

  • Simply call us on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team to find out how we can help you. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or send us a message and we can get in touch with you.
  • You can also visit our Bristol showroom. Call to book an appointment. There we have examples of our beautiful bathrooms and you can talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team.

B&NES Affordable Warmth Grant

The Council’s affordable warmth grant is available for lower cost measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation,  and repairs to heating and windows. Households with an annual income and savings of less than £30,000 may be eligible for a grant towards home insulation or low carbon heating improvements.

Register your interest here!

Protecting yourself from having a fall at home

Having a fall - older woman

The impact of having a fall

Having a fall can be a frightening and shocking experience. Whether the fall takes place indoors or outdoors, at home or away, it can make a person feel vulnerable. This is especially true for an older person and if this leads to a fear of falling, it can have a big impact on their quality of life.

Depending on the circumstances of the fall and whether or not an injury was sustained some people can become less confident, less independent and more socially isolated.

Fortunately a lot of falls are preventable and many things can be done to reduce the chances of having a fall. The biggest hurdle can be people realising that they are at risk in the first place.

“Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 who live at home
will have at least one fall a year,
and about half of these will have more frequent falls.”

NHS on Falls

It is common for older people to ignore this because they are keen to maintain their independence. They see making some changes or accepting equipment offered by occupational therapists as giving in when really it is the opposite. It can help keep someone safe and independent in their own home.

If the chance of someone having a fall can be reduced this can increase the chances of their continuing to live satisfying lives.

Reasons for falling

There are lots of reasons why people fall such as weak muscles, poor balance, dizziness, visual problems or medication. If you have any medical concerns about falling you should discuss this with your GP.

Other reasons people fall can be due to hazards in the home. Our handyman service can help with jobs such as securing loose carpets that may cause you to trip, fitting an extra stair rail to give you extra support, installing grab rails in areas of the house you may feel vulnerable in, building concrete half steps to reduce the height of external steps, or even doing some jobs that you may feel could cause you to have a fall, such as changing light bulbs, putting up curtain poles or clearing the gutters.

 

How We Care Home Improvements can help

Our handyman service is set up to help with exactly this kind of home maintenance, and we have been helping people with their homes for over 30 years. You can completely trust our handymen and handywomen, who are all Trading Standards Approved.

 

Get in touch

Our customer service representatives can often provide a quote over the phone. If not, we will arrange for a Handyman or Handywoman to visit you and complete a quote that way.

 

  • Give us a call on 0300 323 0700 for a no-obligation chat with our team. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.
  • Or, ask for a free quote and we will get in touch with you.

 

 

How can you make your bathroom safer?

Have you considered a walk-in shower room in your home?

We can help you plan the perfect bathroom that’s both safe and stylish

It can be daunting starting out on a project like redesigning your bathroom. Even more so if you have very specific needs. We’ve been helping people make their homes safer for over 30 years, specialising in bathroom adaptations. So let’s walk you through how we create a bathroom that’s built around you.

Let’s talk about you

First and foremost, your needs are the most important thing to take into consideration. Do you have a particular health condition? Have you had falls in the past? Are you a wheelchair user? The answers to these questions will help us shape the bathroom. It’s important that whatever we create will work for you, now and in the future should your needs change.

You should also consider what aspects of your current bathroom you like and would want to keep. Some aspect of the bathroom might work for you but other things need to be changed. That’s alright! It doesn’t have to be a total redesign, especially if you’re on a budget.

Bathrooms don’t have to be boring!

Whether you’re looking for a clean and modern design or want a splash of colour, our accessible bathroom ranges have something to inspire everyone. Perhaps you’ve done some research into the styles and colour schemes available. Show us what you’ve seen. Just because we want to make your bathroom safer, it doesn’t have to be boring! Take this opportunity to let your own personality shine through.

Your space doesn’t have to set the pace

Think about the current layout of your bathroom. How much space do you have? Don’t worry if you are working on a budget and have limited room. There is always the option to convert another room to a shower room, upstairs or downstairs. Even build an extension or convert a garage. We know this might not be affordable for everyone though. Our contractors can maximise what you’ll get out of the space whilst being realistic about what’s achievable.

Other than certain fixtures and fittings that help save on space, we also have a range of level access showers. No big bathtubs mean you’ll free up a lot of floor space for manoeuvring, and fewer obstacles to contend with.

A stylish bathroom in our Bristol showroom

Wet room or walk-in shower?

There’s a big difference between the two. A walk-in shower uses a tray to catch the water from the shower. A wet room, also known as a level access shower room, has no tray or lip. The actual tray is beneath the floor, allowing you to access the shower from the floor level without having to step over anything to enter.

In our experience, level access showers are the safest option. They also lend the bathroom a very modern look, and work fantastically where space is limited.

Let the pros worry about the technicalities

There are several things to consider when redesigning or re-configuring a bathroom to accommodate a level access shower. Our vetted contractors worry about the details. We’ve fitted thousands of specialist bathrooms across the South West. So when it comes to electrics, heating, waste pipes and other practicalities we know what will work and what to do, all to make you safer while you bathe.

Improve your bathroom, transform your life

Just because you’re finding it harder to bathe right now, it doesn’t mean you have to keep on struggling. With the right set up of a wet room, rails and accessible toilets and sinks, you’ll be staying independent in your own home for much longer. With your safety and your future in mind, trust us at We Care to improve your bathroom around you.

Get in touch with us today for an obligation-free chat.






    Announcement – Rick Sturge joins WECHI as Chair of Management Board

    We Care Home Improvements are delighted to announce the appointment of Rick Sturge as Chair of the Management Board. He takes over from Dr Robin Means who steps down after 5 years to focus on his role as Chair of Care & Repair England.

    Rick is a Chartered Accountant who has spent 35 years working in senior executive roles with a number of leading professional services firms. as well as having experience in all senior operational roles, he is also a business transformation specialist having advised and worked with businesses, in all sectors, and Governments across the world. He decided to take partial retirement three years ago to be able to undertake some private business consulting work, interesting project work and community/charity support work in the west of England region. In addition to his current role as Chief Financial Officer of Grafton LSR Ltd (Bloodhound Land Speed Record Project) he has several voluntary positions and is currently a Member of West of England Civil Authority Recovery Taskforce, Chairman of Business in the Community for the Southwest region, a Member of Board of Governors for South Gloucestershire & Stroud College, a member of the advisory board for the Bristol Business School, and a visiting Professor at the University of West of England.

    In joining WECHI, Rick brings with him a strong network across the world of business, the education sector, the public sector and the third sector and wants to do as much as he can to harness help and support to charities and community-based groups in the southwest region. 

    Rick said “My motivation these days is to ensure we mobilise the collective strength of all parts of society as a powerful collective force in driving regional vibrancy. Business, Government, education and the third sector working in collaborative harmony is vital if we are to make society a better and fairer place. The pandemic has ignited a fresh sense of individual and corporate social consciousness and a key focus area moving forward needs to be to ensure we can better support and properly look after older members of society.  This is why I am so impressed by the work organisations like WECHI undertake and I am delighted and proud to be taking over from Robin as Chair and looking forward to becoming more actively involved with the organisation.” 

    Kevin Snowball CEO said “We are delighted that Rick Sturge has joined We Care Home Improvements as Chair of the Management Board and are looking forward to working with him to develop new collaborative relationships and to promote the vital work that WECHI does to enable older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes for as long as they choose.”

    Rick Sturge

    For details of our full Management Board, see here.

    Covid-19 Lockdown – guidance on home repairs

    Covid-19 face mask ppe home repairs safe

    Worried about having tradespeople in your home during the lockdown?

    It’s only natural to be concerned about letting people into your home during the Covid-19 pandemic to do home repairs. However, the UK government has confirmed that any repairs or home improvements can still continue. Now might be a good time to get those urgent jobs done.

    Of course, it is important that before anyone sets foot into your home you know who they are and what measures are in place so that they are working in a Covid-safe way.

    You can rest assured that all of our handypeople and technical staff are following government guidelines. We want to keep you – and us – safe. Here’s a little more information about what to do and what to expect when we work in your home during the lockdown.

    Before the work is carried out

    Our advisors are all still available by phone and email Monday to Friday, from 8am until 5pm. They’ll discuss the work with you. If they feel it’s something that isn’t too urgent and could wait until after the lockdown they’ll give you some advice. They’ll also give a timeframe within which you’ll hear back from us. If you have a more urgent plumbing problem or need some rails we’ll do our best to help in a timely fashion.

    If the work is going ahead, they’ll confirm the name of the handyperson who’s coming and the timeframe you can expect them to arrive within. Don’t be offended if we ask if you’ve had any Covid symptoms within the last two weeks, or if you’ve been shielding. We’re asking all of our customers to make sure we can protect everyone as best we can. If you do develop any symptoms prior to us visiting then please let us know as soon as you can.

    Before one of our handypeople arrives at your home, they will also call you ahead of time. They’ll check that you are well and you’re happy for the work to proceed. They will explain how the work will be done with social distancing and hygiene measures in mind. Tell them if you have any special requirements.

    It would be great if you could open any windows and doors if the job is inside your property. This will help air to circulate and minimise the amount of door handles the handyperson or surveyor has to touch. If you aren’t able to we will take care of it when we arrive.

    When we get to your home

    Our handyperson or surveyor will be wearing PPE gloves and masks, and come prepared with their own disinfectants to clean surfaces and their hands if necessary. Where possible, please either remain in a different room whilst they work or keep a two metre distance from them. Any areas they work in will be sanitised afterwards along with their hands, door handles and handrails.

    We’re sorry to say that we won’t be able to accept any food or drink from you during our visit! Although it pains us, because we love cups of tea and cake. Likewise, we won’t eat or drink anything of our own whilst we’re at your property.

    After we have visited

    Rest assured, our Covid-safe way of working doesn’t begin and end at your home. We’re sanitising our car and van steering wheels and handles and using seat coverings. We will dispose of worn PPE after every home we visit. We’re wearing gloves and masks at petrol stations and at our materials suppliers. Every step of the way we are doing everything we can to protect you and us, from the office, to the warehouse, to the van, to you, and to the next person we help.

    We’re still here for you

    If there are important repairs or improvements that you need right now, you don’t have to put them off. There’s no need for problems in your home to get worse – we’re still here to help when you need us the most. Right now we’re all spending more time indoors due to the lockdown, the pandemic, and winter. Our homes need to be warm and safe to see us through the season. If you need us, don’t forget you can reach us on 0300 323 0700. Or you can email us at info@wecr.org.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    And don’t forget to follow the latest government guidelines here. Let’s look after each other and stay safe in 2021.






      Keeping warm this winter

      Blanket warm winter
      Keeping warm this winter is important – even one blanket can make a difference

      Practical advice to see you safely and cosily through the coldest part of the year

      We’ve all been stuck indoors for a lot more of the year than any of us would have hoped. This winter, as well as the flu and the usual winter bugs we are also living with coronavirus. This makes it even more important that we look after ourselves as best we can. That means keeping warm and staying healthy.

      As we get older, our immune systems have more of a battle on their hands when it comes to fighting viruses. Add in colder weather that affects circulation and less moving about than usual, and existing health conditions like arthritis become much more troublesome.

      But don’t worry – there’s a lot that you can do to keep yourself warm, cosy and healthy this winter and every winter to come. Here are our top tips at We Care:

      Keep your home warm throughout the winter

      This might seem like an obvious one, but did you know that the ideal temperature of the room that you spend the most time in should be 21°C? Even more ideally, the other rooms in your home should be at least 18°C to keep you nice and toasty wherever you are.

      It’s important to know how to operate your heating system, including the thermostat and timer controls. Having the heating on at a consistent temperature throughout the day is the key thing, followed by keeping doors and windows closed to keep the heat in and the cold out. Many people heat their homes overnight or during the early hours of the morning too, as it’s usually coldest just before dawn.

      Having trouble with your heating? Click here for more information on how we can help with repairs. Worried about the cost of the repairs? We’ve got a helpful page on financial options too.

      Of course, all this heating costs money. It’s a wise idea to have a Direct Debit in place with your energy supplier in order to spread the cost of your energy usage throughout the year. No nasty surprise bills! You may be eligible for the Warm Home Discount from your energy supplier too so make enquiries about how to apply for it. There’s also the Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment – visit Age UK’s website to find out more about them.

      Keep yourself warm in the winter

      Again, it seems an obvious thing to say. But did you know that several thin layers of clothing are better than just having one thick layer of clothing? Vests, thermal underwear, tights and leggings, long-johns, as well as the usual hats, gloves and scarves if you’re out and about.

      Being prepared is key, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. You’ll want to wear your warmest shoes or boots, ideally with non-slip soles in case it is icy or – shock, horror – snowy. You’ll also want a scarf or snood to cover your neck and face against chill winds (as well as your face mask when you’re in the shops). Check the weather forecast ahead of time so you can plan and prepare accordingly.

      Around the home, keep blankets in places you spend a lot of time like the lounge sofa or your desk. Keep them off the ground so that they don’t cause a trip hazard. Many people like hot water bottles and electric blankets, though for safety don’t use both at the same time. Make sure that your electric blanket is safe for overnight use. Otherwise, good old fashioned thermals and underwear can help to keep you warm and toasty in bed this winter just as well.

      Keep active – keep healthy

      Even the smallest amount of activity can help keep your circulation going strong and prevent muscle loss. Try to make a point of keeping active. The experts say not to spend more than an hour at a time just sitting, no matter how good that TV boxset is! Age UK has a fantastic webpage on keeping fit at home right here.

      It’s equally as important to eat right during the winter. I’m sure that the chocolates will be coming out around Christmas, but make sure to have at least one hot meal a day, with lots of veggies. It’s good to have a routine, like the classic three round meals a day. If you feel hungry, make sure to have something and not ignore the signs that your body is giving you.

      Finally, keep a good stock of medication on hand. Beyond the usual painkillers and such, have some cold and flu remedies in the medicine cabinet. We’d also recommend getting the free flu jab if you’re over 65. Even if you’re fit and healthy, it’s doubly important this year with the coronavirus situation. The free jab has even been extended beyond over 65s and their carers to people who were shielding in the first lockdown and some others. Head to the NHS website’s Flu vaccine page or speak to your GP for more information.

      And don’t forget to wash your hands regularly!

      So there we have it. Our simple but effective advice for keeping warm and healthy this winter. From all of us at We Care Home Improvements, stay safe and Merry Christmas!

      Christmas candles
      May your days be merry and bright

      If we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact us using the form below. Our showroom is closed for the foreseeable future but our handypeople and technical crew are on the road, still caring and repairing all through the holiday season.






        Garden Fencing – We Care about your security

        Does your garden fencing need some TLC?

        It’s official – summer is here! It’s felt like a very long year up until now. We’re finally able to enjoy our gardens a lot more now that lockdown is easing and the sun is shining. And the one thing that we at We Care are always thinking about when we get outside is our garden fencing. So now you’re outside, take a look at yours. How is it looking? Starting to slump slowly? A bit of wood rot here and there? Do you even have a fence anymore?!

        Now that you’ve had a good gander, you might be looking to replace some of those broken fence panels or to improve the security of your garden. You may even be thinking of changing the look of your garden, or perhaps you just want some privacy back. In any case, we can help you by installing fences that look great as well as protect the security of your home’s boundary.

        Let’s talk wood

        Fences are generally a lot cheaper to install than having brick walls built up. They are a more attractive option than brickwork too, and a permanent fixture compared to hoarding or woven bamboo. Garden fencing can come in different styles – such as slat style, which is contemporary but offers less privacy, or the more traditional overlap style. If you want to change the look and feel of your garden, there are many options. Wooden panels can be treated then stained or painted to suit you and the vibe you’re going for.

        Your garden, your security

        If you are looking to keep pets, children or other loved ones safe, it is important to have secure fencing in place, ideally installed by an experienced garden maintenance technician. They’ll be able to give you the best advice on the best type of fence panels for the job as well as complete the installation to the highest standard.

        A garden maintenance technician can advise you on the height and thickness you require for the optimal security and how you can section off or partition your garden with panels or metal railings and balustrades if necessary. Let them know what you would like to achieve by having the fence installed. Do you want to be able to see over it? Do you want plants to climb up it? If so, there are options for heights and trellis attachments to meet your needs.

        We repair, we replace

        If you already have fences in place that just need replacing, then you might be able to use the existing posts for that fencing. However, we can replace them if they are rotten or broken, as part of the set prices that we offer for replacements. Our garden maintenance technicians like to carry out a free site survey in the first instance so that they can have a chat with you, take a look at your garden and current boundary fences, then give you a quote from there.

        Have the fence you fancy

        The most popular type of fencing is the classic simple overlap wooden fencing, also known as lap panel fencing. If you prefer we can offer you other styles such as panel boards or specialist designs to make your garden stand out – if that’s your thing! The panels will be installed pre-treated, meaning that a protective coat of wood treatment is applied to them before we even arrive at your home. There are a couple of different ways to treat wood, so do ask your maintenance technician about this and any tips they have for maintaining your fence so that it lasts for years to come.

        Fence posts can be either made from timber or concrete. Concrete is, of course, a stronger option requiring no further maintenance like treatment. However, it is a more costly option and arguably less attractive. We aim to install wooden posts or work with the current posts you might have installed to keep the cost down and for them to mirror the wooden panels to be installed. Your garden maintenance technician will happily discuss the pros and cons with you during the initial garden survey.

        We’re here to help – even after installation

        Should your new fences need to be treated annually or biannually or if you’re considering getting them painted too, don’t forget that we can give you all the advice that you need or even do it for you. Our garden technicians have deep knowledge in all aspects of garden maintenance. There’s nothing they like better than having a chat about ways to improve your garden. With decades of combined experience between them, they are ready for you to test their knowledge and skill.

        If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you get the most out of your whole garden as well as the garden fencing, don’t hesitate to drop us a message on Facebook or Twitter. You can send us an email at info@wecr.org.uk to enquire about our gardening team or fill out our contact form here on the website. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!