Positive progress made in helping older people to live independently in community

In 2015/16, almost 97% of older people were living in housing in the community rather than a care home or long-stay hospital. That was just one of the positive messages contained within East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s annual performance report in relation to supporting older people to live independently in the community.

Very positive progress has been made over the year and much of this is due to the amount of partnership working being carried out including preventative programmes of activities in supported accommodation; volunteering opportunities; intergenerational activities between older people and schools; befriending; carers’ support and advocacy services; health checks through the Community Health Improvement Partnership van and falls prevention work.

Another reason for the amount of progress made was the introduction of a whole system Service Change and Transformation Programme. This was established to develop models of care to address challenges such as ongoing demographic changes and the need to understand patterns of readmission to hospital.

A particular highlight of 2015/16 was care being provided to more older people at home than in the previous year, while the uptake of Smart Supports/Technology Enabled Care and self-directed support also increased. Nearly 4,200 people used Smart Supports during the year and many people’s lives have been transformed due to this technology.

For people who are admitted to hospital, the aim is to ensure that discharge is arranged as soon as the person is medically fit and the Health and Social Care Partnership has continued to maintain its positive performance in reducing the number of people experiencing a delay in discharge from hospital. The Red Cross home from hospital service also proved successful.

Eddie Fraser, Director of East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “People in East Ayrshire are living longer and are a major contributor to our local communities. We know that an ageing population also means that challenges lie ahead in relation to the ongoing demographic changes. This, along with increased frailty and many people living with more than one long term condition means that there will continue to be increased demand on community health and social care services.

“However, as a result of our work with partners and local communities and our focus on proactive, anticipatory and technology enabled care, we have been able to support proportionately high numbers of older people in their own homes rather than in care settings, and we will continue to do all we can to improve this performance further.”

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