Joint working for independence

IT’S BEEN another busy year for Angus Care and Repair as they strive to help people remain independent in their own homes.

And the importance of preparing the body for the future was outlined by the chairman of Angus Care and Repair, Ken Fenwick, at its 14th annual general meeting last Thursday.

This is not limited to physical repairs and adaptations but includes the feeling of safety and security.

He said: “This last year has included a lot of joint working with partners to raise the profile of preventative services instead of acute services.

“There is an increasing older population and people are living longer. However, we do have to make preparations for the future both individually and collectively as a society to ensure our workforce and buildings are able to deal with planned health and social care rather than having to focus the resources on emergencies.”

He referred to the The Change Fund introduced by the Scottish Government in 2011 to enable health and social care partners to implement local plans for making better use of their combined resources for older people’s services.

He added it was unfortunate this was not directed at all health and local authority services as one most often impacts on another.

Whilst money was allocated to increase the assessment of adaptations, similar resources were not put in to the installation of major and minor adaptations.

However, this has been rectified this year as the service is to receive funding in 2012/2013 to employ an additional part-time officer to meet the demand of minor adaptations.

He continued: “The number of major adaptations installed for older and disabled people in owner occupation and private tenancies is still substantially less than those carried out for council and housing association properties, although there is a substantially higher percentage of clients in owner occupation.

“Perhaps it is necessary to carry out more publicity about council adaptation grants, social work and health services and voluntary sector support in order to help people remain independent in their own home.

“A particular thank you to Angus Council and all our other partners for the support, assistance and commitment in helping the older and disabled people of Angus to remain safe and secure in their own homes.

“Together we are ensuring that Angus remains one of the best places to live in.”