Our specialist staff work with a number of local GPs and other practice staff to support older patients with non-clinical needs.
What does the service offer?
People speak to their GPs about a wide range of issues, but sometimes they need help with non- medical issues.
An Independent Living Coordinator from Age UK Staffordshire works with GPs and practice staff in North Staffordshire to support older people with non-medical issues.
The support we give helps to minimise hospital admissions, maximise older people's income and independence, and reduce social isolation.
We make a home visit to meet with the client and initiate a ‘guided conversation’ to help identify the things they need help with and agree a support plan. This could include:
- With social opportunities
- Practical arrangements - such as assisted bin collections or Blue Badge applications
- Benefits’ applications
- Supported signposting to other agencies.
Details of the support plan are fed back to the GP practice and we ensure it is implemented, working alongside the patient to achieve their goals.
Currently the primary care service is only available to people registered with the following GP practices:
Read our case study
Before we met Mrs B, she had been in the acute hospital for 12 days due to heart failure, and she also had sciatica, hypertension and arthritis. Mrs B had limited mobility and used several aids, had a 6-week package of care, and was supported by community nursing. She was anxious about getting out as she had lost confidence and lived alone.
What we did:
Together, we set a goal with Mrs B to get out of the house and get involved with social and physical activities. Mrs B’s priority was to make the kitchen more accessible. A volunteer gave her some help and they sorted things into baskets. We also arranged for our Help at Home service to visit – an hour every fortnight.
We agreed small and realistic goals and review them regularly so that Mrs B’s confidence would increase and she would be inclined to take on more ambitious challenges.
Three months later...
We accompanied Mrs B to the local balance and stability class and within a month she was able to attend independently. Mrs B joined a shopping trip that she greatly enjoyed, particularly eating a meal with others as she usually eats alone. She attended the local coffee group and by now she tried several more held at various venues in her locality. Her confidence has improved to the point that Mrs B shares her experience with new groups.
See what people are saying about the service
“Your support has been so helpful, just having someone to talk about all this gives me a lot of comfort”
“Thanks for the visit, I had no idea all this stuff was out there, I will definitely try to get to some of these sessions”.
“The coordinator has really helped mum, I can’t believe the difference in her mood compared with a few weeks ago. I hope something similar is around when I get older”
How do I access the service?
If you work in general practice locally and would like to find out more, you can email the Services Manager, John Larkham: email@example.com or call 01782 200721.
If you feel that this service would be beneficial to you, please contact the relevant surgery and staff will be able to make a referral if you are eligible.