Council Outlines Vision For Helping Older Residents

hugh town housesOlder residents in Scilly could get more suitable housing, help with rubbish collections and IT training.

Those are a few of the options outlined in the Council’s vision for supporting older islanders to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

The document, presented at Tuesday’s Community Services meeting, was written on the request of St Martin’s councillor Colin Daly, who has regularly championed the needs of our elderly residents.

Senior Manager Aisling Hick said the report would “let people know what they can expect from us.”

Broadly, the Council wants to ensure they get the right advice, opportunities to continue a social life into old age and support to remain living in their own homes.

That includes offering more equipment and technology for loan and recruiting more care workers, including on the off-islands.

They’ll also try to grow the so-called ‘micro provider’ sector – that’s small-scale private companies who can offer care services like cleaning and shopping.

Aisling says they’re keen to increase the ‘Living Well’ programme, which encourages volunteering in the community.

Age UK, in partnership with the Council, has recently appointed Elaine Leijser as their island-based Living Well Coordinator. Elaine is based in the Wellbeing Centre and is working with a number of clients and fellow professionals.

Colin said he’s keen to see a register of volunteers on the off-islands who were wiling to drive older people from their home to the quays and back.

He said the lack of transport is a real barrier to people travelling on the interisland boats.

On top of more suitable housing for older residents, the report also suggested offering more key worker accommodation for health and care staff.

It also recognised the help needed by some off-island residents to get rid of their household rubbish.

Currently people have to transport this themselves to the waste management sites, which is a struggle for older islanders.

The Council recently launched a pilot scheme to start household rubbish collections on St Martin’s for all residents and Colin said that had “gone down a storm.”