Tag Archives: elderly

Cùram’s Care Center Project

In the last issue we heard about Cùram’s day care on Tiree, and how successful we have been so far raising the money to keep this going. But our other ‘hat’ is working behind the scenes with the various bodies to build a completely new care centre in place of the Scarinish ‘Home’ at Taigh an Rubha.

Cùram Thiriodh was set up after a big public meeting early in 2011, following an unsuccessful attempt to privatise care services for the elderly on Tiree. There were two things we learned early on: no one is building old peoples’ homes any more, apart from huge private ones in cities; and, looking at other islands, the process takes a long time. The care centres on Jura and Mull both took about ten years to plan and build. A similar £10 million project on Barra has taken even longer.

The modern replacement for ‘old peoples’ homes’ is the ‘Progressive Care Centre’, like those on Jura and Mull. These are built by Housing Associations, and are basically a number of flats connected to rooms for day care and community use. Each unfurnished flat is self-contained with a small kitchen/dining room and bathroom as well as the bedroom. The residents become tenants of the Housing Association, and every resident has their own individual social work ‘care package’. But as well as a new building, there are other changes in the offing on Tiree. The nursing and the social work teams on the island are about to be brought together under a national initiative to end decades of wrangling over budgets. The artificial distinction between those carers who work in the community, and those who work in Taigh an Rubha is likely to be phased out. And, most importantly, the new ‘Progressive Care Centres’ work in a different way to the old ‘Homes’. The staff will no longer be employed in ‘The Home’, but as part of a team of carers looking after individual clients, whose needs vary from day to day.

We don’t know how this is going to work on Tiree, but Cùram has made the case strongly to the Working Group that a new building is no use if the staff is not happy. After a couple of years writing proposals to the Council, without much success, Cùram was approached by Argyll and Bute’s Housing Department to ask if we were interested in joining a group to plan a new care centre. For a year we have been part of this ‘Working Group’, along with ACHA (Argyll Community Housing Association), the Health Board, and the Council’s Social Work and Housing Departments. We meet by video conference every couple of months, and are making slow progress. So far we have agreed the following:

· Tiree and Coll do need a new care centre; the existing ‘Home’ has got to the stage where it is not worth modernising

· After analysing the number of people likely to be living on the two islands in the next twenty years, we are presently aiming to build eight new residential flats and two ‘respite’ flats, one of which will function in much the way the ‘medical’ bed does at the moment

· Dementia is on the rise. We estimate there will be twice as many people with this condition in twenty years’ time. The new centre has to be particularly designed for this and there is a world-class dementia unit at Stirling University, which has agreed to help us.

· Attached to these flats we hope to build a day care centre, where Cùram can continue and expand its work. This will include a kitchen, so that fresh meals can be made for the residents that want them, islanders coming to the day care centre and the meals-on-wheels service.

· Existing residents should not have to move out while the new centre is being built

· There will be new offices for the care staff and district nurses in the new complex

It is possible that a new ambulance station will be built next door

· The group has decided that it would not be appropriate to build a chapel of rest as part of the same development

· The two possible sites being considered for this development are:

the area around Taigh an Rubha and the Rubha Cottages; and the ground around the doctor’s house in Baugh. An architect will be employed soon to produce a report on these two options. One possibility the Working Group has discussed is integrating some of social housing next to the Home into the new centre. The Tiree Community Council has noted this and has made it clear it does not want to lose the limited social housing we have on the island.

It’s all very slow work. I suppose it has to be when there is so much at stake and there are so many different organisations involved. Our decision to start agitating for a new ‘Home’ in good time seems like a good idea!

Cùram welcomes your ideas, your contributions and your energy: we always are open to new members. Our AGM is a good place to start.

Dr John Holliday, chair of Cùram Thiriodh

Community Care For Our Elderly

wheelchairI attended a public meeting a few weeks ago concerning the proposed model of care for the elderly and integration of health and social work. By just writing that one sentence I have probably sent the majority of readers racing to the next article.

No one wants to think about their final years and how they will be cared for. We are incredibly lucky in the provision we have for elderly care on Tiree, but change is happening which will affect us and as individuals, families and community we need to look at why that change is happening and how it will affect us because unless you have a mirror in the attic it will happen to you.

‘We are an ageing population’ How many times have you heard that term in the media but do you truly understand the implications of an ageing population? Very simplistically it means the average age of a population is increasing along with life expectancy but the birth rate is declining. For Tiree it means that we will live longer barring accidents and plagues. However if you factor in current lifestyle factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise it may mean we live longer but have more complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease , strokes, dementia and cancers. If the birth rate declines it means there are fewer people to look after the older people. Throw in the cost of caring for a person with multiple diseases to the NHS and you begin to see why care of the elderly has become a national concern.

So on Tiree we have a few separate issues going on around elderly care. One is the Model of Care which involves the Integration of Health and Social care which is a nationally driven policy supported by government and happening across Scotland. On Tiree it means that all elderly care will be managed and delivered by health as one team. It means we can work more flexibly and apply resources where they are needed. It makes sense. The Model of Care has the aim of keeping people at home or within their own communities longer. That means as a community we need to change the way we think about caring for our older folk. Instead of intervention at a crisis we need to look at ways of preventing crises occurring in the first place. When a person is ill we need to be able to put resources into the person’s home to ensure they are supported and cared for. All of us need to work together which means everyone working closely with families and the voluntary sector. Integration of the teams is aimed for by 2015 and I will update through An Tirisdeach as more becomes known so everyone knows what is happening.

A separate issue is the provision of a new care facility on Tiree. This is a separate issue because the integration of services will go ahead independently of the care home situation. The care provided in Tigh an Rudha is exceptional but the building and residential model no longer meet the required standards of care required by the Care Inspectorate. The model currently being discussed is the Progressive Care Model where people can live independently and dependently around the care facility. So imagine a building where all your community care staff are located. It could have a day centre and a chapel of rest or even a small hydrotherapy pool. It would have a communal area for eating and socialising. It is very much at the negotiation stage and Curam are working in partnership with health, social work and housing to ensure the facility reflects what the community needs.There will be housing units attached and care will be delivered to the person in their housing unit, even overnight.

Primarily people will stay in their own homes but the units will be available if this is no longer an option. The housing units will also have the latest Telecare. Telecare is an advanced monitoring system so a person’s whereabouts in their home can be monitored. It includes fire, flood and door alarms and the technology is advancing rapidly so people with advanced dementia can live independently of residential care.

At the meeting people were concerned about older people having to leave Tiree if the housing units were occupied. My team’s focus will be on people not leaving their own homes. However every case is different and even today we have people unable to return to the island and people who have had to be cared for elsewhere so even our current care model cannot guarantee that everyone can stay or return to be cared for on Tiree. The success of the new facility will be in terms of community engagement in the process so everyone is knowledgeable about the model and what is happening with care provision.

I hope this has helped inform everyone about what is happening regarding care for older people from my perspective as a district nurse. Next time Wills and Advance Directives – bet you cannot wait x

Kate MacCallum – Team Lead Community Nursing/Midwifery

Lunch Club receive £72,000 funding from Big Lottery.

LUNCH CLUB SEPT 2011 002The elderly and vulnerable members of the community were informed this week by the Big Lottery that funding was granted to the lunch club to supply a minibus and recruit a community outreach worker.

The lunch club has been running twice per week with the help of volunteers and now will be able to offer a much wider service of support to the community, hence the lunch club has become The Resource Club.

This is an opportunity to enhance the lives of people in the community who are otherwise restricted from taking part in community events. The minibus has seating for wheelchairs and will attend community meetings and events. The minibus will also be available to other community groups to access. Importantly the recruitment of an outreach worker will enable the Resource Club to develop activities, outings and offer a more structured support system for carers.

Kate Maccallum, the Chairperson stated that this was a fantastic opportunity for the community to develop this service and credit must go to the volunteers who turn up every week and have kept this service going for the last two years. The Resource Club would also like to thank Jane Issacson and the girls at JP Paperworks who were invaluable with the application process.

Vital Day Service Continues

councillors_mary_roddyCouncillors Mary-Jean Devon (Oban South & The Isles) and Roddy McCuish (Vice-Chair of Oban, Lorne & The Isles Area Committee) show their delight at the letter sent by Ann Austen Service Manager of the Social Work Departmment in response to the Day Service / Lunch Club’s letter to her Department.

Councillors Roddy McCuish and Mary Jean Devon held a surgery at Tiree Business Centre on Monday 7th Sept. Top of their agenda was our much cherished Lunch Club which is known as the Tiree Day Service.
Councillor Devon showed An Tirisdeach the letter which said “Sincere apologies for the manner in which people were notified of the intended closure of the Day Service. We will re-assess the situation over the next four months.” The Lunch Club were given assurances that the Club would be up and running by the 11th of September.

“We will be doing our utmost to keep this vital service”

Councillor Devon confirmed that this crucial service will run as normal until a consultation takes place. Councillor McCuish added ” Coming over here today can only endorse what Ann Austen said. It was handled poorly and having seen the facility for myself along with my colleague we will be doing our utmost to keep this vital service.”
Both councillors were unanimious in their unequivocal support of the Day Service, aware that the Lunch Club and Craft Class helps, amongst others, the elderly and the vulnerable. “We would encourage islanders to contact their councillors with any concerns regarding the island. We knew nothing about the situation until Mrs. MacCallum contacted us and we are thankful that she did.

“Sustaining communities in fragile rural areas is a big priority for us”

We will be more than happy to help continue this crucial service. Sustaining communities in fragile rural areas is a big priority for us, and we are committed in our support of islanders for these essential services.” The councillors pointed out that they can only act on information they receive and are keen that islanders keep them informed of issues that affect our community. Both councillors are aware that the problems islanders face are often unique to island life and do not always have a mainland equivalent.