Home support available to vulnerable residents

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West Sussex County Council is reminding residents of three home support services available to adults and older people.

Help is at hand for those who need a bit of extra support at home if they have just come out of hospital, require some additional help with light tasks around the house, or are feeling lonely and isolated.

The countywide services: Home from Hospital, Good Neighbours Scheme and Help at Home, form part of West Sussex County Council’s Public Health Prevention and Wellbeing Programme.

Age UK Horsham District, Age UK West Sussex and Guild Care are working in partnership to deliver up to six weeks home-based support following a return home from hospital.

An individual support plan is developed which helps settle people back into living independently and involves a home assessment and help with organising transport and practical and emotional support when they are back home. A volunteer is also matched to residents who need on-going support and helps to rebuild confidence and reduce the risk of loneliness.

Lynda Ryan, Head of Community Services at Age UK West Sussex, said: “The first few weeks out of hospital are the most difficult, especially for those that live alone and who do not have a network of friends and family to support them. We provide practical and emotional support that is tailored specifically to the needs of the individual. A lot of vulnerable people don’t realise that this support is available to them and is only a phone call away.”

The Good Neighbours Scheme, provided by RVS (Royal Voluntary Service), offers face-to-face, telephone and group support to residents who are at risk of, or are suffering from, loneliness and isolation.

A key feature of the service is to provide ‘safe and well’ checks on all home visits by volunteers who will monitor if there is any change in someone’s health, wellbeing or home surroundings. Any concerns raised are passed to the local Prevention Assessment Team for an assessment to take place.

Also available is Help at Home, a contract that provides subsidised help and assistance with cleaning and household tasks to adults who are in receipt of a means tested benefit. The service sees help offered in someone’s home, for example shopping, cleaning and light meal preparation and other tasks where needed.

Cabinet member for community wellbeing, Christine Field said: “These fantastic services are already making a real difference to residents who just want to be independent and feel safe at home. We want as many adults as possible to be made aware of the support that is available as these services really have a positive impact on quality of life.”

All three services can be accessed through a patient’s GP, by self-referral or via a family member or carer by visiting the Age UK West Sussex, Age UK Horsham or Guild Care websites or by picking up the telephone and giving them a call.