Vulnerable older people in Wales can continue living independently, with help from a new service launched today.
Care & Repair Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru’s Managing Better service aims to help older people who live in poor housing and are frail, have dementia, sensory loss or are vulnerable in other ways.
The new service employs caseworkers who work with GPs, hospitals and social workers to reach older people most in need of help, to keep them safe, warm and independent at home.
85-year-old Mrs Bickle from Bridgend has been helped by the service. She said, “I’ve always stayed fit and active and until recently I regularly walked about four miles a day.
“However, in recent years my health has started to deteriorate. I was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and hearing loss, so my sight and hearing aren’t good.
“I started to find it difficult to do day-to-day things like walk upstairs, have a shower or cook myself a meal. I kept putting my hand on the top of the gas cooker as I couldn’t see or hear the flame. I felt frustrated and anxious.”
“Following an eye test, I was referred to the Managing Better service by the Princess of Wales Hospital Ophthalmology Department. My case worker Sandy sprung to action immediately, getting me a handrail on the stairs, brighter lights in the kitchen and she’s also encouraged me to get my ears tested and start wearing a hearing aid.
“Sandy even helped me find out that I should have been receiving benefits, which are a huge help and mean I’ll be able to stay in my home much longer than I thought. I feel so much safer, and happier. I’m definitely managing better!”
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health said, “My ambition is to make Wales the best place to grow older in the UK. The Managing Better project is an important step in helping us achieve this vision.
“Working with a wide range of primary care providers, hospitals, social care and third sector organisations, the service will help keep the people most in need of support safe, warm and independent in their own homes.
“I am pleased the Welsh Government has been able to support this excellent service with funding of £1.25 million.”
The service is funded by the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Social Services Third Sector Grant.
About Care & Repair Cymru
· Care & Repair Cymru is the National body for Care & Repair Agencies across Wales and become a registered charity in September 2015. Charity 1163542.
· Care & Repair gives free help and support to older people to maintain, repair and adapt their homes.
· Each year Care & Repair helps over 45,000 older people across Wales and last year 11% of those helped were over 90.
· To contact your local Care & Repair Agency simply call 0300 111 3333
About Action on Hearing Loss
· Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is the Wales arm of Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID.
· Around 575,000 people in Wales are deaf or have hearing loss, almost as much as the populations of Cardiff and Swansea combined.
· Our staff and volunteers provide specialist care and support services for deaf people with additional needs and community health services to assist people to manage their hearing loss.
· Action on Hearing Loss invests more than £1.5million into research each year and our biomedical team are working to find a cure for hearing loss within a generation.
· For more information visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/wales.
About RNIB Cymru
· RNIB Cymru is the largest sight loss organisation in Wales.
· We provide support through education, transition and employment services; specialist advice through our welfare rights, Online Today and Visibly Better services; and emotional support through our Eye Clinic Liaison Service to people living with sight loss.
· We also campaign for improvements to services and to raise awareness of the issues facing blind and partially sighted people.