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Older people services – Public benefit statement

SCDA are playing a pivotal role in responding to older people’s needs in the BS3 area by  providing a focal point for exploring needs and facilitating community aspirations as well as delivering services for older people. Some of the ensuing benefits of this work are tangible as can be seen by comments from members of the Monday club and those attending tea dances. Other activities are focused more on planning for the future and whilst benefits are less obvious at this stage it is nevertheless an important part of building future positive outcomes for older people in BS3.

 

Co-production - planning for the future

With SCDA’s support a group of elderly residents are exploring the needs of the older population in BS3 with a view to co-producing services particularly directed towards reducing isolation and loneliness in community. This together with information gathering, a wider networking role and participation in strategic planning are providing a platform for future far reaching benefits to older people in BS3. An identified need for support for people with dementia has recently led to a taster session and a commitment to hold a series of monthly activity based support meetings at the Southville centre.

Monday Club

Qualitative data from recent case studies of the older people attending the centre’s Monday Club are testament to the benefits members are gaining. Most attendees are vulnerable older people who have experienced loneliness and isolation. For some it is the only real contact they have with others during their week. Members talk about being given a new lease of life. They look forward to attending, saying that it provides them with a focal point for the week. One member sums it up by saying “It’s the company which means the most to me; all the pleasant men and woman there are to talk to. Everybody is so very friendly and it’s such a welcoming place to come to.

Tea dances

Tea dances are targeted at older people (55+), irrespective whether they are mobile, or if they can dance, since everyone gets something out of the event; whether as a way of getting out of their homes, an excuse to dress-up for a special event, to socialise with friends and others, the enjoyment of the refreshments and cakes, being amongst others who are smiling, listening to the music, having fun and/or dancing and taking part in exercise. The feedback from participants at previous dances has been extremely positive with almost everyone (88%) requesting that further dances are made available. Reasons stated why people enjoy the dances include ‘it’s nice to try something different as this is not something I would normally do’ and ‘it’s such lovely atmosphere, what a lovely opportunity to be with friends and meet new people’.

Foot Care

The SCDA works with 2 foot care practitioners to offer appointments to older people, once every 3 weeks. This was identified as a vital, and often difficult to access, service for people and is well used by Monday Club members and people in the wider community.