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Plan supports better living for Moray seniors

Date Added - 18/02/13

Community care

Ways to support people in Moray to live well in later life have won the backing of the public.

Consultation on the new older people’s strategy – Living Longer, Living Better 2013-2023 – drew an overwhelmingly positive response and the finalised document has been endorsed by Moray councillors.

The joint commissioning strategy has been produced by the Moray Community Health and Social Care Partnership, the voluntary sector, private sector, GPs and older people themselves.

There are more than 18,000 people over the age of 65 living in Moray with the number set to rise by over 7,000 during the next 17 years. This will lead to increasing pressure on health, social care and housing services, particularly as there will be more people living with dementia, complex health needs and long-term conditions.

To respond to the changing needs of older people and their carers, health, social care and housing services need to be significantly reshaped.

Over the past 18 months, older people have been working in partnership with staff from all sectors to map out current services and how they are working, where there are gaps and what is needed in future to support the independence of older people.

Moray Council and NHS Grampian intend, over the next 10 years, to significantly redesign and reshape services to better meet needs. The overall aim is to shift resources away from services that respond in a crisis towards services that support people at an earlier stage.

There will be greater focus on preventing health problems – including mental health - and on supporting more people to maintain their wellbeing and quality of life for longer. When older people do begin to experience a decline in their health and wellbeing, services will concentrate on ‘getting them back on their feet’ so that they can continue living as independently as they choose.

This approach is already making a difference to older people, such as through Moray Council’s home care reablement service which offers people short-term support at home to help them regain skills for independent living.

The final stage of consultation on the new strategy, which has still to be endorsed by NHS Grampian and the Scottish Government, focused on developments to be taken forward under the key themes of community capacity building, dementia, housing, carers, the frail elderly, modernising community services and technology.

A total of 60 responses were received from individuals, community groups and service organisations.

Jane Mackie, head of community care, said: “On average 85% agreed that the development areas would help achieve the long-term commitments to improve life for older people and we have taken on board the responses in the final strategy and in the development of our implementation plans.

“More than half said they would like to be further involved. Involvement of all stakeholders has been the hallmark of the production of this strategy and will continue to be a principle in the way in which the strategy is delivered over the next 10 years.”

Continued consultation with the community will be a vital part of the commissioning process to decide which services secure value for money and need to continue in future, which need to be reshaped to better meet changing needs and which may stop so that funding can be directed towards services which do a better job of supporting older people.

Issues highlighted by older people during earlier consultation events included help to overcome social isolation, foot care, low-level help around the home, and the idea of time banking, where people draw on their skills to support others in their community.

Research has already started to look at how such low-level support could be accessed and delivered locally to enable people to live independently for longer.

Moray is also at the forefront of work looking beyond traditional health and social care to consider how new ideas and technology can be used to improve the way people live.

Through the dallas (delivering assisted living lifestyles at scale) programme, older people will be among the first in the UK to benefit from new and innovative products which will transform the delivery of services and provide greater choices as they age.

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