The Learning Disabilities Assistive Technology Project

Evaluation Summary Report

The purpose of the project

Below you will find a link to the full evaluation summary of The Learning Disabilities Assitistive Technology Project.

The project involved work with up to 100 individuals with a learning disability (LD) living in the city of Bristol, to assess for and install assistive technology (AT) solutions and to measure the outcomes.

The three key predefined outcomes of the project were to:

  • Promote independence choice and control for individuals: support people with LD to
    live as independently as possible with the right care and support.
  • Reduce and Prevent adults with LD entering inappropriate services: support adults (and
    carers of) with learning disabilities who require urgent housing and are at risk of entering
    inappropriate services such as inpatient and registered care services for learning disabilities.
  • Mainstream the use of assistive technology in the learning disabilities and housing
    pathway: increase the total number of adults with LD supported to live in their own home
    specifically people with complex needs/challenging behaviors.

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    Keeping your home warm in the winter

    It’s so important to keep your home warm in the winter, when the temperature is much colder and the frost has set in. Here are some helpful tips for keeping nice and toasty all winter long.

    It might seem obvious, but it really is so important. Older people are more vulnerable to illness during the winter because the cold suppresses the immune system. That means it’s easier to contract heavy colds and the flu and increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions like heart attacks.

    This guide will give you some quick ideas on how to keep you and your home warm in the winter months, so you are healthy and hearty until the spring finally arrives.

    keep home warm in the winter older person slippers socks fire
    Keep warm this winter – it’s as simple as putting on slippers and checking your radiators!

    Be smart about your heating

    Set your heating to at least 20 – 21C, and close off rooms that you aren’t using to keep the heat locked into where you are going to be. You should shut doors to rooms where the radiators are on so that you are keeping the heat in where it’s needed. A smart thermostat can help you control the level of heat from wherever you are, so you can turn it down if you’ll be out for a while or plan ahead for when you’ll arrive back.

    Radiators – reflect heat and bleed when necessary

    Your radiators are so important – they need to be working properly so that they are effectively heating your home. If your radiators have cold spots and don’t heat up evenly then they need bleeding. This can be done with a radiator key or flat head screwdriver, but you might want to get a handyperson in to take care of it for you, just in case there are any further issues.

    You can buy reflective radiator foil to keep our rooms warm and cut down on the heating bills. The reflective foil helps by reflecting the heat back into your rooms instead of it being lost through the walls. This is best for radiators on walls that are not adjoining inside rooms and face outside. Your handyperson can give you some solid advice on where they will be most effective in your home.

    Don’t lose heat through the cracks

    Make sure that your house isn’t losing heat through the windows, doors and floors. Floorboards are not great at retaining heat, especially if they are older boards and have gaps in them. Even laminate flooring can get very cold when winter comes, so think about getting a rug to stop cold air coming in and heat going out. Decent socks and slippers will also keep you feeling very toasty too.

    You should also consider getting a draft excluder for your doors, and even for windows. Rolled up towels can also work as a stopgap. Decent curtains with a lining will help retain heat – the heavier the curtain the better for this. Keep curtains closed when you are out and close them when it gets dark to retain the heat for as long as possible. Conversely, open them in the daytime as the sun will heat the room for you, for free!

    Draught excluder door keep warm winter
    Draught excluders can be bought from most home furnishing stores, or we can source one for you

    Lining your loft keeps you home warm in the winter and beyond

    Proper insulation in your loft ensures that there is minimal heat being lost from the top of your home. There are a couple of types of insulation, such as loft boards or loft insulation rolls. They are all designed to stop warm air from escaping from the attic space. It’s good to get a professional in to do this for you, as some of the materials can be irritating and difficult to lay properly.

    Dress and cover yourself for warmth in your home this winter

    Don’t forget to look after yourself by dressing warmly this winter, even if you are staying in the house. Slippers and socks are important of course but also use blankets when you are lounging on the sofa. Wear pyjamas to bed, and underwear underneath if you feel you need it. A blanket on top of your duvet is also a great idea as your temperature fluctuates during the night when you sleep.

    Make sure you are eating right, because the right amount of fat for your BMI helps you keep warm too. Alcohol makes you lose body heat so drink it in moderation, or not at all.

    Keeping you and your home warm – we can help

    We are happy to give you all the help and advice you need to prepare yourself for the colder months. Our handyperson team can assist with lots of smaller tasks that will soon add up in the warmth stakes. If you need help with insulation, our project management team are well equipped to assess what needs to be done and arrange the repairs as soon as possible. Drop us a message for an obligation free chat!

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      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.

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        Getting your home ready for winter

        Home Winter - Handyperson

        Get help to prepare your home for the winter months

        As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, it is worth making sure your home is ready for the cold winter months ahead. Freezing temperatures, cold rain, hail and snow can all damage your home. That’s why you need to have the exterior checked for any possible gaps in its defences.

        Prevention is always better than cure! So it makes sense to hire a trusted handyman or handywoman to do some basic home maintenance to prepare your home for winter. By getting some help now, you can save on potentially costly damage to your home. Plus, you can also ensure that you stay safe, warm and cosy over the season. Having someone check your house could also help to reduce your heating bills, by ensuring that there are no gaps for the cold to get in. Your home needs to be properly insulated to stay warm all winter long.

        Our award-winning handyperson service is ideally suited to help with this sort of home maintenance. We have been helping people to protect their homes for the last 30 years and our service is Trading Standards approved.

        How to get ready for winter

        There are various things to consider to prepare your house for the winter. We can send round a handyman or handywoman to assess what needs to be done. They will look to do things such as:

        • Clearing the gutters: water in places it shouldn’t be will damage your property, so we can ensure the gutters are clear of all obstructions including leaves and any debris
        • Check the roof: we will inspect the roof for wear and tear. We can check for leaks and gaps and ensure the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys are intact.
        • External water pipes: we can check these and consider wrapping them in heating tape to save energy and prevent them from freezing.
        • Fire safety: if you have a wood burning stove we can inspect, clean and make any repairs needed. We can also get chimneys swept.
        • Attic insulation: we can check your attic is insulated properly.
        • Check for drafts: we can check around all doors and windows for any drafts. Caulk any cracks or install weather stripping to prevent cold air coming in and heat being lost.
        • Outside taps: we can ensure that any outside taps are insulated. If you have an isolator valve, we will close the valve and open the tap so that if the water left in it freezes, it has room to expand.
        • Paths, patios and driveways: damaged paths and driveways are a hazard anyway, but worsened in freezing temperatures, so we can ensure you go into the winter with a smooth exterior and fix any damaged areas. We can also clean patios, paths and driveways with a pressure washer so they do not become slippery when wet.
        • Outside lights: we can make sure any outside lights are working correctly so you can see clearly on the dark mornings and afternoons.
        • Tidy the garden: the autumn is the time to cut back any trees, shrubs and bushes. Not only because it’s better for them but also to prevent any damage to the house. We can also pop over during the autumn to clear up the leaves as they drop.


        How We Care Home Improvements can help

        Our handyperson 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 for a free survey.


        • 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.