CERAE represents an extention of the role of the Safe and Healthy Action Partnership (SHAP) in Annadale and Eskdale. SHAP is a partnership of various organisations from all sectors (public, private and third) which seeks to improve the health and well-being of people in the locality.
The Community Engagement, Resilience and Health Service Development in Annandale and Eskdale project (which will, for present purposes, be referred to as CERAE) has received the backing of Dumfries and Galloway’s PYF partners. It has been granted initial funding of around £75,000 per year for two years from RCOP Change Fund monies.
Clackmannanshire Healthier Lives (CHL) is a community based programme which offers support and advice to people in Clackmannanshire to help them make changes that can improve their health and wellbeing. It is an anticipatory care project which aims to help people improve their health through tailored packages of support designed to meet clients’ specific needs. A full range of services is offered from holistic health assessment, stress management and confidence building to increasing physical activity, smoking cessation, healthier food shopping, cooking and dietary skills.
As noted in the Scottish Care Institute for Excellence – Research briefing 39: Preventing loneliness and social isolation: interventions and outcomes “Older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation or loneliness owing to loss of friends and family, mobility or income. Social isolation and loneliness impact upon individuals’ quality of life and wellbeing, adversely affecting health and increasing their use of health and social care services”.
It is well known that many older people experience a general sense of ‘uselessness’ and social isolation if their family and community contacts are reduced either through bereavement or their own physical health limitations. This can in turn lead to low levels of depressions, anxiety and poor self-care, further exacerbating poor physical health and mobility.
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.
The North Lanarkshire Partnership has developed a comprehensive, inclusive programme of initiatives designed to build community capacity, resilience and support older people in a range of ways. The Third Sector Locality Development Programme (LDP) is targeting Change Fund investment across the 6 recognised localities in North Lanarkshire in order to support and drive forward focussed development of community based services linked to identified and evidenced need.
The Partnership established a Community Capacity Building Group with the remit to ‘Improve outcomes for older adults and their carers by supporting community capacity that contributes to preventative and anticipatory support to reduce isolation and loneliness; enable participation and values diversity; enhances the use of information, advice and education; improves independence and wellbeing and delays as far as possible the need for more complex care and support.’