Because Josephine was vastly overcharged to replace her door

In September last year we began working with Josephine, a 75-year-old lady from Cardiff. Josephine got in touch with us after experiencing issues with her boiler, which had been in her home for over 17 years. She explained to us that every time she turned the boiler on it began making loud banging noises, causing her to worry and switch it off. Because of this she was attempting to manage at home without heating or hot water, both of which are absolutely essential to live safely and comfortably, particularly with winter around the corner. 

When our Care & Repair caseworker visited Josephine at home she identified several issues. Despite suffering from diabetes and arthritis, she was not claiming any means tested benefits which, as a result, meant we could not gain access to funding to install a new boiler.

Josephine also told us that she was forced to replace her front door earlier in the year as it would not close properly. As she didn’t know who to call, she phoned a company from the yellow pages who charged her over £2,000 for a UPVC door – a fitting which should cost between £600-£800. 

Because Josephine was vastly overcharged to replace her door, she had no savings left to complete further essential works on her home. Sadly, what also became clear was Josephine was unable to cover the total cost of the door initially, and was still repaying the shortfall with interest every month.

Our caseworker worked with Josephine to identify the benefits she was eligible for, and discovered she was missing out on a small amount of pension credit. Although this wouldn’t make a huge amount of financial difference, it did mean she was missing out on her entitlement to a free boiler through a local scheme. We worked with Josephine to process her pension credit application, which went on to be accepted, and her boiler was replaced within a couple of weeks. 

While working with Josephine our caseworker identified additional areas where she needed support. She revealed she had recently fallen on the stairs which prompted our caseworker to arrange for our handyperson to fit a grab rail.

A visit from the fire service was also arranged and smoke alarms were fitted throughout Josephine’s home along with a carbon monoxide alarm. Because of these essential adaptations Josephine was able to continue living independently and safely at home.

If you, or a loved one, need help with adaptations and maintenance on your home call us on: 0300 111 3333.