In respect of Older People a development plan had been produced by the statutory agencies prior to RCOP. This included a proposed focus to improve socialisation and reduce isolation for Older People living in North Ayrshire.
Due to the increasing demands on the Podiatry service within NHS Ayrshire & Arran, the Podiatry service required to re-shape their service delivery to ensure that those with the greatest need get access to adequate resource and evidence based podiatry care.
Within North Ayrshire a broad range of service provision exists and is delivered through the 4 partner agencies (NAC, NHS A&A, third sector and independent sector). It was recognised that the scope, extent and how to access the services was not generally known by prospective service users, nor among the partners themselves. It was recognised that there was a need for Community Connectors to map, promote and share knowledge of services available to older people and their carers and amongst professional teams.
The need for training that was merged and developed, if you will, to find the right balance between the needs of our clients and the needs of our volunteers. Existing training for befrienders was felt too ‘cold’ and failed to take into account the range of needs and aspirations of older people themselves – and the relationships which develop from such initiatives.
Older people and volunteers were unimpressed with existing training, and had viewed several packages; this was a truly co-productive approach.
This initiative tackles social isolation and support to maintain independence through a blend of timebank support, befriending and a focus on person centred outcomes.
Person of 90, isolated within her community since the death of husband, struggling with long term and deteriorating condition; feeling lonely and unable to cope with her garden yet resistant to ‘giving up’ and moving into care.