A PIONEERING project to help the elderly remain in their own homes is expanding.

The Borders Care and Repair service, which is operated by Eildon Housing, provides an affordable household repairs for everyone registered.

The service also provides falls prevention and dementia awareness.

A grant of £92,000 from Borders Caring Services has allowed the service to expand with the appointment of a new handyman, Kenny Forsyth, and the purchase of a new van.

John Duncan, director of Property Assets at Eildon Housing, told us: “Borders Care and Repair offers an extremely valuable service and has the potential, with the appropriate support to make an even larger contribution in future, to help people to continue to live safely in their homes and in doing so, take pressure off other health and social care services.

"Having Kenny on board means the team will have more time to engage with clients who wish to participate in the completion of a new online questionnaire during a visit.

"By completing the questionnaire it is hoped that any support the person needs will be identified, as well as making them more aware of how small changes to their home environment can help them stay independent for longer."

The Borders Care and Repair service is provided by Eildon Housing Association in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and is open to any Borders resident over the age of 60, or those of any age with a disability.

The aim is to keep residents safe and help them to continue to live independent and productive lives in their own homes.

Val McNab, chair of Borders Caring Services, added: “We are pleased to see our legacy funding being used to address the growing problem of dementia as Eildon adds another important development to the long list of their successful work in Borders.

"We know from experience that Care and Repair services do add value to the Health and Social Care and Prevention agendas and particularly in relation to integration of local services, and reducing falls and accidents in the home.

"This increase in handyperson services, which cross health, housing and social care objectives, can also offer cost-effective solutions with cost benefits and improved social and financial investment returns. The need to identify and quantify improvements in the independence of older and vulnerable local people is crucial.

"We are glad to see our contribution being used to help increase quality of life and wellbeing, and essentially for those with Dementia and Alzheimers.”

Borders Care and Repair Service offers the handyperson service at a cost of £40 per year year, providing access to the team who carry out small DIY tasks with no limit to the number of visits in a year.

For further information phone 01750 724895 or email careandrepairenquiries@eildon.org.uk