For almost 15 years Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin’s Help at Home scheme has supported older people to remain independent in Shropshire.
When it started back in 2002 the scheme helped less than 50 people. Today we support over 1,100 older people with a range of practical tasks that help to keep them living in their own homes, as well as providing an invaluable contact for those that live alone.
The lifeblood of the scheme is provided by our team of approximately 175 Home Support Workers. They undertake a range of domestic tasks, such as cleaning, tidying, laundry and ironing as well as shopping, cleaning inside windows and collecting prescriptions. Some of them are gardeners and help to keep lawns mowed, borders weeded and hedges trimmed.
The scheme receives support from Shropshire Council and in turn supports the Council’s aim to help people avoid residential or long term care. Over half of the people we support live alone; a quarter have a disability and all have some sort of health issue. The Home Support Workers remain with their allocated clients so are ideally placed to build a relationship and keep an eye open for changes or issues when they arise and regularly ‘go the extra mile’ to deal with problems.
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The highly skilled ‘back office’ staff have many years experience sorting out problems, whether it’s a conversation with a GP about an older person’s health, helping to sort out problems with utility companies or even finding a plumber to unblock a toilet! And with the backup of Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin they can signpost to a whole range of other services: checking benefits entitlement, arranging a befriending visit or referring to a day centre, lunch club or walking group.
It’s this extra support that the scheme provides that we think sets it apart from ‘just a cleaning service’. Ursula from Shrewsbury is nearly 98 and has had visits from Lorna, her Home Support Worker, for over 13 years. Ursula has a niece, Sylvia, who is herself 73 but doesn’t live close by.
Sylvia says, 'Without the help and regular visits of Lorna from Age UK my aunt would not be able to stay in her own home as long as she has; she is registered blind and has no other family, I am over 70 and unable to call on her every day. Knowing that someone as capable as Lorna is calling regularly, and getting in touch with me when she was concerned, has provided fantastic reassurance.'
Which just about sums up what the service is all about.
If you would like more details about the Help at Home service call us on 01743 233 788 or email us at email@example.com