People were telling us how they enjoyed coming together over a meal but either could not get out on their own (mobility factor), could not afford to visit a café or restaurant (income / poverty factor), and did not want to feel they were the recipients of ‘charity’ (independence and dignity factor). People were clear they did not want a solely ‘old peoples lunch’ at a set time and where they could not meet and share with anyone, whatever age.
So, we needed flexible times – an open café approach; lunch or soup and sandwiches but also social activity; transport to enable access for those who could not get out on their own; accessible premises; and a huge amount of volunteer support coupled with older people themselves to shape the service they wanted.
This, then was to address social isolation, poor nutrition, building peer networks, and supporting independence.
How to try and promote awareness and a greater understanding of the 3rd and independent sector to health and council staff.
Promoting the services that third sector and independent sector can and do already provide for older people and how they can prevent avoidable admissions and delayed discharges. Also how to access the organisations and services their, referral systems, costs etc
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.
This case study highlights the use of additional AHP support which was provided to community service users through the use of Change Fund resources.
A man with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease was referred to Speech & Language Therapy. He was experiencing word finding difficulties as his primary symptom and felt frustrated. I visited him at home and heard many stories about his life travelling the world with the army. His wife supported his conversation skills. Denis clearly demonstrated a passion for the topic and was motivated to communicate. I was already working with another man, John, following his stroke. His speech was non- fluent with long hesitations as he struggled to retrieve the word. He had also travelled the world with the army and was interested in sharing his experiences in therapy. Both gentlemen lacked the vocabulary to discuss their past easily with a new conversation partner. Both gentlemen were frustrated by their difficulties and felt increasingly passive. It transpired that both men held the same rank in the army (Warrant Officer 2). I knew little about this rank and their progression to this position. I asked them if they would be interested in working together and they agreed.
The Vintage High Teas programme aims to provide access to nutritional meals and fresh healthy fruit and vegetables through the provision of an alternative service which is complimentary to the current lunch clubs provision in the area giving older adults the opportunity of choice. The programme also aims to provide additional support to older adults with higher support needs to access and participate in activities in familiar community facilities.
Lunch Clubs and activities currently exist in North Lanarkshire but this project gave local older adults the opportunity to have a choice in the types and timings of when these meals / clubs were on offer. The VHT programme also included a number of activities and also links to other local organisations to allow people who used the provision to have the choice to be part of other things.