Older people are increasingly experiencing social isolation. Statutory services are unable to provide the one-to-one social aspect that a volunteer can provide which is a proven intervention in improving people’s mental health and wellbeing, reducing social isolation and providing associated health benefits of people re-engaging with their community through support.
Contact with a volunteer on a regular basis provides the opportunity for observation of a befriendee’s wellbeing and allows interventions to be explored or offered before the situation deteriorates to crisis level.
We believe that Befriending Plus complements the changing emphasis of statutory service provision towards re-ablement and helps to reduce the high demand on health and social care services.
East Dunbartonshire has the highest ratio of older people in Scotland. The percentage of population with dementia in the area is also greater than the national average and is expected to increase even further.
The clinic model contributes to a more efficient use of existing services through enhanced co-ordination of the existing resources of all of the partner organisations. They deliver flexibly and sensitively the type of advice and support that people with dementia have told us they need.
Support for carers where the continual disturbance of sleep is placing an intolerable pressure on family carers, placing the carers health at risk and affects their capacity to continue with caring tasks safely and adequately, and may result in the breakdown of care at home arrangements.
Carer burn-out or extreme fatigue has often been anecdotally cited by carers themselves as the lead cause for the cared-for being moved on to institutional hospital care, often viewed as an avoidable hospital admission.
This can often lead to poor personal outcomes for both the cared-for and the carer. Tackling this in a preventative manner has allowed carers to retain their physical and mental well-being, supporting them in the longer term in their caring role.