Helping people live independently for longer

Posted on: 22/05/2019

Across the UK, there are more than 850,000 people currently living with dementia, with a further 225,000 people developing the condition this year alone: a new diagnosis every 3 minutes. By 2025, just 6 years away, it is expected that there will be over 1 million people living with the condition. And while it’s true that more people over 65 have dementia, it’s not exclusively an older person's disease, with early onset dementia affecting younger people too.

As the emergency gas service for Wales and south west England, we know that we must adapt our services, enhance the support we offer and make sure our colleagues have all the skills to meet the needs the diverse and changing communities we serve.

Dementia Awareness week began on Monday, so it’s the perfect time to highlight one of the ways we can support people living with dementia to help them live independently for longer: Locking Cooker Valves.

When a Locking Cooker Valve is installed, it allows the cooker to be used under supervision and locked in the off position when a family member or carer leaves the house or room. The valve only isolates the cooker, which means the central heating system can still heat the home. They are suitable for customers who can no longer operate their gas cooker safely and who may be at risk of harming themselves and their home by leaving gas unignited or forgetting to turn the hob off, giving family or carers peace of mind that they will not come to harm when they are alone.

We can install a locking cooker valve free of charge in agreement with the family or carer of a priority customer. We provide this service regardless of your gas supplier, and you don’t need to change energy supplier or inform them of the device.

We’ve partnered with the other UK gas distribution networks: Cadent, Northern Gas Networks and SGN to offer this free service. If you know someone living with dementia who you think could benefit from a Locking Cooker Valve, find out more and sign up here.


Nigel Winnan

Nigel Winnan is Wales & West Utilities Customer and Social Obligations Manager.