The service was established in 1998 by Lochalsh and Skye Houisng Association to provide a ‘traditional’ small repairs service to disabled people and the elderly. Through collaboration with the Highland Council and NHS Highland it has since set up and operated Joint Equipment Stores in Portree and Broadford to collect, deliver and manage all equipment owned by Social Work Services and NHS Highland. The service also now includes telecare and occupational therapy support, and runs a demonstration/assessment room within Portree hospital as a training facility for the use and benefits of devices.
All these complementary services are aimed to support people to remain in their own homes and to shift the balance of care from hospital into homely settings. They illustrate the key contribution that locally based housing associations can make to the reshaping care agenda, working in partnership with health and social care.
One example was a lady with Dementia who was referred in order to consolidate support available and identify any areas that might require assistance. However, during preparation it transpired that this elderly lady was also a victim of financial abuse. The family knew this was going on and wanted it stopped but did not know what to do about it. The Family Group Meeting brought these concerns into the open. Social work was informed of these allegations but they agreed to wait for the outcome of the Family Group Meeting before pursuing their own enquiries.
To provide high quality information in the form of DVDs for people with dementia and their carers.
One important aspect to the support of people with dementia and their carers is the availability of high quality information. Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy (2010) and the ‘Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland’ (2011) highlight the importance of information in improving understanding of the benefits of early diagnosis and support through all stages of the dementia journey.
An integrated housing and social care plan across local authority, health, third and independent sector providers was implemented to promote service improvement and cost efficiencies whilst improving outcomes for individuals and their carers. Specifically:
To provide services designed to promote independence and wellbeing through flexible and integrated onsite personal care and housing support teams within sheltered and very sheltered housing.
To address recruitment difficulties
To reduce in-house service costs, maximise capacity, reduce duplication and reduce travel time.
To reduce the number of admissions to hospital and facilitate a speedy return home following an illness/crisis.
Older drinkers can be more vulnerable and their needs more complex than younger people with alcohol problems. This can be as a result of the potentially greater physical impact of alcohol misuse on older people, as a result of, for example, the interaction of alcohol and medications; higher blood alcohol concentrations caused by body water reducing with ageing; and reduced alcohol tolerance levels.
Many service users from Addactions over 50’s alcohol service also identified social isolation as an on-going issue for them. Once they have became alcohol free and their health and well-being improved, they often found it difficult to exit from the service, and still sought ongoing support. In response, 55 positive seeks to provide an additional care pathway that encompasses peer mentoring, befriending, and social and educational activities.