To combat poverty and financial exclusion by improving take-up of older people’s benefits with particular emphasis on clients who have health problems, are housebound, or who live in remote areas.
The service aims to ensure that hard to reach older people are given an opportunity to claim the benefits and access the support that they require. Typically older people do not access benefits and support due to multiple barriers. The OPAS delivery model aims to overcome these barriers.
The project focused on Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Glasgow.
Age, Home and Community, the Government’s housing strategy for older people emphasises the need to make best use of existing housing, where most older people live. South Lanarkshire’s housing service has been experiencing a significant increase in the demand for adaptations, reflecting the growing needs amongst its tenants. These adaptations are undertaken, as everywhere else, as and when an approach is made and often at a point of crisis in a person’s life.
The Council was keen to find a way to make its housing stock more suitable for older and disabled people when housing was being upgraded. This would benefit the tenant by assessing their individual needs and ‘anticipating’ needs which might arise later, and have cost benefits for the Council by adapting properties at scale.
To provide a client focused One Stop Shop for a range of services to social and private housing tenants. To be a centre point for design, specification and provision of adaptations and one point of contact for clients, carers and landlords. The provision of a client focused service which endeavours to ensure that the client’s needs are met and adaptation failure is minimised. A central client focused service encourages innovation to provide best value for money whilst maintaining quality. Similarly, clients are offered good advice and guidance on repairs, improvements and adaptations to their homes all of which guards against potential exploitation.
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.