Who Cares? Promoting Independence

Who Cares? event photo

Comments from Lisburn Discussion Event:

  • Social Care should provide support for independence and remaining in the home where that is the person’s choice
  • Social Care should include helping older people to maintain their independence and pride by doing things like cleaning which they currently are not able to do.
  • There is something to be said about all the points about keeping people in their homes, a little bit of help, keeping people linked to family and friends, maintaining independence and keeping your dignity. It is all wrapped up in the same thing. Social care should include all these things.
  • Social care should be person centred. Social care should take the individual into account.
  • Social Care should help to maintain and improve quality of life. It should help where needed to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • People should be able to choose the care the need, make decisions and not have to go to bed at 6.10pm just because that is the only slot available
  • People would rather keep their independence and be looked after in their own home
  • If you have always been active there should be some way of getting help to get you to church/lunch with your friends/to do your shopping etc. Why does Dignity always seem to be undermined – social care should do more to keep independence. Why does your life have to stop?
  • Current system provides the wrong type of support which can limit rather than promote independence, e.g. someone receiving meals on wheels when they could cook for themselves if they had help to clean their oven etc.
  • University of Third Age looking at potential of technology to address isolation in residential settings, e.g. assistance to go online and use Skype. Could be extended to person’s own home
  • Govt now putting an emphasis on care in the community – this was a complete disaster in the past and not well enough resourced
  • Question if shifting resources from homes to community is the right way to go – being at home is not the solution for everyone as people could get care at home but would suffer from loneliness and isolation and would much prefer to be in a nursing/residential home
  • There needs to be real consultation with the individual and their family to get what they really want
  • Most agreed that older residents in care homes are not treated as individuals ‘there’s so much life experience there and it’s just not tapped into. The wisdom of older people is not tapped into. Think about all the experiences they’ve had; bereavements, divorces, illness, children growing up and all that’

Comments from the Omagh Discussion Event

  • People want to remain in their own home – they want to maintain their independence
  • In rural areas sometimes you have no choice - remaining at home is not an option. There are waiting lists also for the good nursing homes
  • I know that personal care is important in social care – but it is also important to have interaction with people – it is important to feel as if you belong and that you have not been forgotten just because you are old
  • Want to see more people who are able to remain living in their own homes
  • Continuity of care and the effect on the individual is important. All services need to be responsive and personal.
  • Independence is a big thing – people want to be able to stay in their own home
  • If you are fit, well and alert and make your own decision to stay at home you should be allowed to stay at home
  • The first thing for social care would be to promote independent living
  • Maintaining independence; Important that you stay in your own home
  • Should have a special focus on men – they often won’t access care and support
  • Dignity is first one top priority to take into consideration
  • Does independence mean being in your own home? Not always. It’s about how you are enabled to live your life and to participate, regardless of where you are.
  • Eskimos - older ones used to walk out in the snow and disappear. Its like you sometimes just want to disappear and not be a burden to anyone, not have to deal with the indignity of losing your health and your mind and your life
  • Social Care should aim to help you hold on to all the little things that can gradually erode a person and then make them need to go into a home, Losing all those things is like losing your life gradually; losing your very soul.
  • New housing should be “future proofed” – there should be a joined up approach to dealing with housing matters. Encourage more understand of Folds as they provide very good care and a mid-way opportunity for someone who can’t maintain their own house but isn’t in need of nursing or residential care.
  • Recognition that everyday issues need support rather than medical help alone – includes keeping the person and the home clean, shopping for food etc.
Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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