The Age UK Sunderland’s Living Well Link Service is part of 5 Community Integrated Locality Teams providing care and support in and through local communities of Sunderland.
There is a dedicated Living Well Link worker in each integrated team linking older people to services within their local community. The Living Well Link service will provide older people with support to promote health and wellbeing whilst reducing loneliness and isolation.
The aim of the Living Well Link Service is to put older people living in Sunderland in personal control of their health and wellbeing. Living Well Link Workers are working closely with Community Matrons, District Nurses and Social workers within the integrated teams to ensure older people with long term health issues receive personalised, integrated care and support to live independent lives. Within the teams there is also support for carers via Sunderland Carers centre.
To view the Age UK Sunderland Living Well Links Evaluation Report click here.
The integrated teams may include more clinical professionals in the future, they will be working with older people, their families and carers to develop an approach that is truly person centred.
What is Integrated Care? Integrated care is a way of coordinating health and social care services to make sure they are tailored to the person’s needs. It is aimed particularly at those with complex and long term health problems. Integrated Care brings together voluntary, health and social care organisations across Sunderland to ensure older people are control of their health to help independence and quality of life.
The Target Group? The Integrated Teams will be working to support the top 2/3% of older people living in Sunderland who meet the following criteria: • Older people who are 65+ and have 2 or more complex health conditions. • Older people with long term conditions, mainly focused on one condition and have less varied and complex needs.
How will this work? The Living Well Link Service will support individuals to self-manage their needs. The Living Well Link workers will work across localities and will visit patients in their homes as well as in other community settings. The service will be driven by the needs of the patients, many of which will have complex needs. The service will focus on practical support to encourage patients to utilise services within their local community. This will include:
• Assisted signposting to services in the community which will help maintain their health and wellbeing such as leisure and learning, social groups etc.
• One to One Support to help with issues such as arranging for support to access appointments, helping with domestic problems such as house cleaning, landlord issues etc.
• Social Contact to establish support from befriending services for those in social isolation or risk of.
• Interim support to help support the patient whilst other support is put in place such as a visit from a volunteer befriender etc.
The Living Well Link workers will identify individuals with anxiety, mental health conditions and those who are socially isolated. Older people will then be linked up Age UK Sunderland’s and other voluntary and community support such as specialist befriending services, lunch clubs, day centres, exercise groups, mental health services and many more to develop social connections and improve physical and mental wellbeing.
The focus of the Living Well Link workers will be on reconnecting individuals that have become disconnected with their local community and the opportunities this offers. The Living Well Link service will offer a first point of contact to provide on-going support so that they don’t immediately look for medical support or interventions. We will be working with the our partner organisations across Sunderland to co-design and co-produce an innovative combination of medical and non-medical support that that older people say is most important to them.
For further information about the Living Well Link service please contact:
Living Well Link Worker
Age UK Sunderland