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Author: Age NI
Published on 12 September 2012 11:00 AM

Age NI Chief Executive Anne O’Reilly is calling on the Health Committee, in advance of a meeting today, to undertake an inquiry into social care as a preventative tool.

Anne commented, ‘Social care is undergoing significant and substantial change. An inquiry by the Health Committee at this time can give the issue of prevention the attention it deserves.

‘The Transforming Your Care (TYC) report and forthcoming review of adult social care will fundamentally change the face of social care. The changes envisaged by TYC will result in a deliberate focus on keeping older people at home, a reduction in admissions to emergency departments and reductions in overall admissions to care homes. This is a positive direction welcomed by Age NI. However, in the absence of a dedicated prevention policy, the changes outlined above will not be realised.

‘Social care is the lynchpin in this process, and preventive social care services can improve quality of life and reduce the need for on-going care. Health and Social Care Trusts are developing ad hoc reablement services, but reablement is only one component of a wide range of methods. Preventative measures such as neighbourhood network schemes and the promotion of healthy-ageing programmes can have dramatic and positive outcomes for older people.

‘Evidence demonstrates that preventative programmes which promote independence, prevent loneliness and focus on the outcomes that older people want for themselves are not only cost effective but achieve better results for those in later life. An inquiry by the Health Committee can make recommendations to DHSSPS and the Health and Social Care Board on prevention strategies that that will deliver on the recommendations from TYC and support the dignity, independence and choice of older people.’

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575