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Chance for older people to have their say

Date: 01/04/2008           Category: Social Care

Medway Council and Medway Primary Care Trust are planning for the future of older people. Work is underway to develop strategies that will look at the future of social care, housing and health services for older people living in Medway. To ensure the views of older people and other residents of Medway are considered in the development of these strategies a consultation event is being held at the Corn Exchange, Rochester at 11am on Thursday, 10 April. This event intends to celebrate the contribution that older people make to Medway and seek their views about how they think social care, health and housing services should be provided in the future. Mayor of Medway Cllr Val Goulden will open the ceremony and speakers will include Cllr Howard Doe, Chair of Older People's Programme Board; Eddie Anderson, Chair of Medway PCT and Alan Burnet from Help the Aged. Medway Council's Portfolio Holder for Adult Services Cllr Tom Mason said: “This is an exciting time for Medway. Two key organisations are planning together the infrastructure required for promoting respect, prolonging independence for older people and ensuring that there is dignity in the services we provide. We want all Medway residents to take part and have a say about the future services that one day we will all be eligible for.” Anyone who can’t attend the consultation event will still be able to have a say. Questionnaires are available at contact points, libraries and on the council’s website www.medway.gov.uk Case study: Chatham resident Colin Cleaver (71) has modern technology to thank for enabling him to remain in his home. Medway Council and Medway PCT’s Telehealth system enables readings of vital signs to be taken at home and electronically sent to a central monitoring system. Mr Cleaver can now keep a check on his blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels from the comfort of his own home. He said: “This is a beautiful machine. It’s a preventative machine and a real lifesaver. Without it I could end up in hospital but now I can spot possible problems, such as high blood pressure or lack of oxygen, and nip them in the bud before they get any worse and become a real problem.” Community matron Deirdre Timmings organised for Mr Cleaver to have the Telehealth system in his home. When she visits him a graph enables her to quickly assess his health needs and if necessary get him to a GP, prescribe tablets or reassure him that everything’s fine. Fact file: 41 per cent of volunteers working with Volunteer Bureaux in Medway are over the age of 50. In 2006/07 4,212 people over the age of 50 enrolled on a course with the Adult Community Learning Service. Almost 5,000 people over the age of 60 remain in paid employment in Medway. Medway has 1,311 supporting people units providing housing related support to older people. In 2007/08, £240,000 from the Department of Health has been distributed to care homes across Medway to replace carpets, floor coverings, and communal areas.