Council ploughs money into more care for the elderly

Posted on Thursday 31st March 2011 at 8:26 am by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council says it is ploughing an additional £2.7million into more care for the elderly.

This increased funding could mean an extra 300 – 400 people are able to live at home longer, thanks to investment in initiatives such as an additional 1500 hours per week of home care which will be available to those who need it and is on top of the 10,000 home care hours already provided by the council.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, executive member for community care and housing, said: “Even as the council makes its contribution towards paying off the national debt, we are putting in the extra funding to help hundreds more older residents stay in their own homes for longer, so they can avoid going into residential care for as long as possible.

“Our aim with this extra funding is to provide a package of care that meets people’s very individual needs and this budget will allow us to do that.

“Whatever form the support takes, the additional funding is invaluable in helping us provide additional support for more people and their carers. At every step we aim to give people the maximum choice and control over what help they have.”

Home care is aimed at helping people stay in their own homes for as long as possible because most people prefer to be as independent as possible. It provides vital support for people who need it and can take the form of help with washing and dressing, support with meals and any other personal help that someone might need.

One of the many residents across South Gloucestershire who is already benefiting from home care is 83-year old Dennis Healy of Warmley.

When Mr Healy was admitted to hospital 18 months ago with double pneumonia and suffering four heart attacks, no-one thought he would be able to return to his own flat and his independence. However, thanks to the support he received through home care he is back at home where he enjoys “a pretty good life now.”

Mr Healy said: “I’ve got two brilliant sons, four grand daughters who come and visit and people who come in and look after me. Apart from Arsenal losing all the time I enjoy myself and have a fair old life.”

In a letter thanking staff, Mr Healy, said: “I would like to record my appreciation of the carers I have received since coming out of hospital. May I thank them all who have seen me improve from practically useless to reasonably independent. I know I will start deteriorating in the future and whilst I know they will still care I just hope I will not be so much trouble. “

Another resident whose life has been transformed by home care is 68 year-old Margaret Miles of Yate.

Mrs Miles said: “I am delighted with the care I received from my carers. They are lovely and are always cheerful and supportive which makes for a good start to each day. Although I have plenty of friends and family around it is still good to know someone comes in every morning to say ‘hello’. Their care makes a big difference to my life on a practical level too, as due to my illness I have very little energy. Having help in the morning gives me greater independence as I still have energy left to tackle the rest of my day, and to do the things I enjoy doing. My carers always have a smile and it’s good that I have the same two carers all the time (unless there is an emergency). This continuity means a lot to me as having to explain things is very tiring and it’s nice to build a good rapport with people who help you in such a personal way.”

Source: South Gloucestershire Council

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