It was recognised that to address the number of older people entering care homes would require an increase in the number of alternative housing solutions. While there was Housing with Care within the city, more was required. As a result of the recession we were unable to commission or tap into new housing provision and the current sheltered housing stock would require upgrading.
The complexity of people with care needs has increased over recent years. The service means that people with high level needs can be supported at home with care delivered overnight. Previously this was only possible in a residential or hospital setting. Prior to the investment from the Change Fund there were two Overnight teams. The investment from the Change Fund allowed another three teams to be established. This has allowed people to move home from hospital, or remain at home, whereas previously a move away from home would be the only feasible outcome for meeting their needs. In some cases the requirement for care overnight was the only stumbling block to meaning someone could be cared for in their own home.
The early identification of carers in order to provide information and support before the caring role begins to have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the carer.
The aim was to identify carers at the point of hospital discharge, and to provide information and support to the carers of older people in Falkirk at this vital time at the start of their caring journey or when their caring role was changing.
The project allows early intervention with customers providing a range of services aimed at decreasing their reliance on medical or other statutory provision. Many of the customers were socially isolated and did not know how or where to access services and community supports OPAL allows for the customer to gain information about local social activities, lunch clubs and advice and information on such issues as benefits, income generation, housing, support for carers and volunteering.