Better Lives In Older Age
- joining up the dots Dunkeld and Birnam is a great place to live, for young people, for families and importantly, for older people. But it may not always be. The new Health and Social Care partnerships are already struggling to keep up with demand for services such as Homecare while Government constraint on public sector spending will restrict their capacity for further investment. If we carry on as we are, then older age for each of us may be a time of less and less support and more and more anxiety. But it's not all gloom and doom. We are lucky to have good local voluntary services, including a strong lunch club which regularly feeds and provides company for up to 30 people. We also have a number of other successful projects across Perth and Kinross which have found different ways of providing support and reassurance to older people - while also helping to bridge the generation gap. The challenge for us locally is how we build on what is already there.
Some older people have difficulty managing group situations, perhaps because of hearing difficulties. Others have real problems managing their shopping or picking up a prescription. Making an extra portion for an elderly neighbour doesn't take long and sitting with them while they eat it, as a Mealmaker volunteer, may only take 30 minutes once a week . But what a difference that visit can make. Simply visiting a neighbour for a coffee or offering to take them to a regular event provides much more than refreshment and transport. It shows that someone is taking an interest. It's good for their mental wellbeing - and actually, the evidence suggests it's pretty good for the volunteer's health too. And picking up a prescription - well, we all do that anyway. So picking it up for someone else? Not really a hardship. These are all simple examples of what is happening elsewhere - joining up the dots of existing services to create a wider network of support. It's not rocket science and it need not take more than an hour of your time a week. But it can make a big difference not just to the people involved in giving and receiving support now, but also to the kind of older age which we can all expect to experience in future. If you are interested in finding out more, please drop an email to me on email@example.com
We want to hear from you, either as someone who might consider being a volunteer, or as someone who has ideas about what supports are most needed. Your community needs you.
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