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Neighbourhood care scheme to receive

14th February 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A neighbourhood care scheme in Belfast is to receive a £1 million boost from social investor Big Society Capital in order to further help the Mount Vernon estate area’s elderly residents and expand the project’s reach. The scheme is one of several that looks to get local communities more involved in the care of elderly residents; their help can help older people to maintain a level of independence and carry on living in their own homes.

The scheme being carried out in Belfast is entitled ‘Clare’ (Creative local action responses and engagement) and was set up by the Mount Vernon Community Development Forum of the Mount Vernon estate area and is a creative solution to cater for the needs of elderly residents in the area. While many may already have physical help in the form of walk in shower kits and mobility aids, the scheme looks to provide the added reassurance that is brought by a home carer.

Clare has been hailed a huge success so far. With no shortage of volunteers who help out by providing support and company to the area’s older residents, the recent investment has meant that meant that even more people can now benefit from the scheme.

Clare elsewhere

The success of the Clare project has encouraged the planning of implementation of similar schemes across the country. Social care pioneer Ritchard Brazil told the Guardian that ‘local authorities can save money because the increased support bolsters wellbeing and could help keep many people independent and out of expensive residential care for longer’.

The installation and maintenance of motorised stair lifts and other such mobility aids in the home and the addition of community support could see older people live in their own homes for far longer and keep them from unnecessary A&E visits, as the local community would be looking out for their welfare. It would appear that the main success of Clare has been staying in line with its original concept; with the Belfast community getting creative and involving neighbours in the care of the area’s elderly, they can not only save public money but also help these vulnerable residents continue to live full and independent lives.

Image Credit: British Red Cross (flickr.com)