Celebrate ‘Connect’ a new independent living service for older people

OLDER PEOPLE LIVING in sheltered housing schemes in Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Farnham and Prestwood will help celebrate the launch of a new county wide service this week (13 and 14 July) with afternoon tea and 1940’s style dancing. The new service, funded by Buckinghamshire County Council, aims to help older people living in supported housing stay independent for longer.

The Connect Independent Living Service (Connect) will be provided through the Connection Floating Support charity which has been giving housing related support to adults across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes since 1995.

The Connect service willhelp older people with practical matters like applying for aids and adaptations, form filling, dealing with bills and debt or claiming benefits – as well as keeping safe, active and socialising.

Two welcome features of the service are that anyone can refer to it and that welfare visits will be made to residents who have used their alarm.

Wendy Mallen, Deputy Cabinet member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “People are living for longer these days. We have to make sure that our older residents can enjoy this by supporting them to stay independent for as long as possible.

“Remaining independent often goes hand-in-hand with living a happier and healthier life by preventing (or delaying) the onset of more serious problems – and has the added benefit of reducing demand on other social care services.”

Liz Bubbear, Operations Manager for Connection Floating Support, said: “We know that most people prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, Connect’s main aim is to help people in independent living accommodation to live purposeful and fulfilling lives. We find ways to bring the community together and use the incredible range of services, skills and experience available throughout the county to help older people get more out of life.

“We think of it as the ‘happiness project’, by removing some of the obstacles to independent living such as loneliness, managing money or getting out and about we can help improve an older persons sense of wellbeing and general contentment with life.”

People living in supported housing, including their friends and relatives, can refer themselves directly to Connect. There is no need to go through a doctor, carer or social worker.

For more information about the Connect Independent Living Service call 01296 484 322.