The Elders Council has always advocated that housing, health and social care services should work more closely together. So in Autumn 2017 we brought our own activities together and formed a new group which meets quarterly.Here is a flavour of the wide range of activities we are currently involved in:
Lived experiences of home adaptations: We participated in research about people’s experiences of home adaptations led by Northumbria University for the Centre for Ageing Better. The report -Homes that Help: a personal and professional perspective on home adaptations - is now available on the Centre for Ageing Better website https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/publications/homes-that-help. We hope that the recommendations will lead to improvements to the ways in which people access home adaptations.
Doorbells - Dreaming for the Future: Elders Council has been working with Care and Repair England, Northumbria University and Skimstone Arts to try out a different way of having conversations with people about how and where they want to live in later life. In March 2018 we held a performance of 'Doorbells - Dreaming for the Future' a sensitive, humorous and moving piece which explores these issues. The performance was followed by a post-show discussion which generated lively debate. A film of the performance is now available here. A report on this work is available in the Reports Section of this website together with a resource pack. We are planning to hold screenings of the film as well as live performances in different parts of the city in 2019.
Future Homes: Elders Council continues to be involved in the Future Homes project and has committed to being one of the partners in a newly formed Community Interest Company, which will take forward the learning from Future Homes. Click here for further information.
Urgent Care: Elders Council took the opportunity to hold a focus group on the use of current urgent care services. The government is planning changes to urgent and emergency care services. The demand for these services is growing and it can be confusing for the public to know which service is the most appropriate one to access. We don’t yet know what changes there will be but we will let you know when we get feedback from our report. You can see a copy of our report here.
Home Care: Following on from the consultation we undertook in 2015/16, we continue to receive feedback on members’ experiences of home care services. We also conducted an informal investigation into different models of home care to see what we can learn from elsewhere. A report of our findings 'Getting by with a little help' is available in the Reports Section of this website
Look out in the newsletter and e bulletin for opportunities to join in this work, either through participating in one-off events or by joining the quarterly meeting.
Getting into the festive spirit has not stopped us from also looking at the serious matter of Newcastle City Council's Budget. Members of the Elders Council joined the Youth Council in attempting the Budget Simulation. After 2 hours of debate, we very reluctantly reached a balanced budget, but only by cutting back on services which we all regarded as essential. Members of the Elders Council Board met with Council officers to discuss the budget proposals and will be preparing a formal response which will be on our website soon..