Groups give out guide to elderly

CLAIRE SAMES

The Department for Work and Pensions is asking voluntary organisations which support the elderly to distribute a cross-government guide in England and Wales with Scotland set to follow.

The guide provides useful information for older people on things such as keeping warm in winter, finances, health services and keeping active through volunteering.

It aims to help pensioners recognise and claim benefits that they may not realise they're entitled to.

"It's something that pensioners will keep by the phone," said Sarah Beal, marketing manager at the Department for Work and Pensions. "Organisations that have agreed to distribute the 50-page guide see it as something that enhances their service. Helping pensioners is certainly a priority for the Government."

WRVS is distributing 34,000 guides this week to its recipients during Meals on Wheels Week to help older people stay independent in their own homes.

WRVS is promoting awareness of its initiative in the form of a letter to regional newspapers written by arctic explorer Caroline Hamilton.

Contact the Elderly, which is a network of volunteers who befriend elderly people, will deliver the guide personally on their home visits.

The department is also in talks with Help the Aged to distribute the guide through its network of Handy Vans.

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