|'Growing Older In Wandsworth'|
Feedback on the recent meeting organised by The Putney Society
This meeting, organised by the Community Panel of the Putney Society, was attended by more than 100 residents, with standing room only. It was a lively and very informative meeting held in held at the Brewer Building, St Mary’s Church.
The evening was chaired by Carolyn McMillan, Chairman of the Putney Society. Speakers were Councillor Jim Maddan (Cabinet Member Adult Services), Dawn Warwick, (Head of Adult Services, Wandsworth Council) and Rachel Corry, (Chief Executive, Age UK Wandsworth).
From Councillor Jim Madden we learnt how the Council is forming strong relationships with the voluntary and private sectors. They are trying to keep ahead of the Government’s changes, and are waiting to hear whether or not the recommendations set out in the Dilnot report (a Government review on the funding of social care) will be implemented. He spoke about A.C.I.S. – Adult Care Information Service, an online directory full of information about local and national adult care services. More information on www.wandsworth.gov.uk/acis . A very valuable source of information.
Dawn Warwick told us how the Adult Services Department aims to give more choice and control to residents. She explained that Wandsworth Council is currently supplying care to 5,000 people, of which 3,500 are over 65 - only 9.1% of the population of Wandsworth - but some need a lot of care. The number of winter-falls in Wandsworth is one of the highest in the country and residents suffer a high rate of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Disease. Research is being undertaken to find out why the numbers are so high in Wandsworth. There is the Falls Team – St John’s Health Team who aim to help prevent the high rate of winter falls.
Ms Warwick spoke about the Personal Budget, a new way of allocating funds directly to those eligible (following means-testing), so that they can choose what services they want to pay for. The Access Team and The Ageing Well Department are both able to assist in applying for a Personal Budget. There is also the Short Term Assessment Re-ablement Team (S.T.A.R.T.) who deliver 6 weeks of essential after care following a hospital stay, thus releasing hospital beds when the patient can be better cared for at home.
Rachel Corry told us about the wide remit of Age UK Wandsworth which is supported by many volunteers. They give help, advice and support about Welfare Benefits (are you getting the right ones?), Housing, Adapting your home (do you need rails put up?), Handyperson service (will help with minor repairs), Personal Budgets, Gardening (a scheme matching those who have underused gardens with those wishing to grow vegetables/flowers), Home from Hospital visitors, Be a friend Service (for people who have no family and few friends left) and Out and About (volunteers take people on trips out). Age UK can either help you or point you in the right direction. If you want to volunteer, get in touch with Rachel at Age UK Wandsworth Telephone 020 8877 8940
The meeting was then opened to questions from the floor which stimulated lively discussions which included Warden assisted accommodation in the Borough, Regenerate Rise and the Platt Centre.
A more comprehensive report is going to be available shortly on the Putney Society website.
Victoria Diamond, Sue Rolfe, Linda Oakley and Caroline Whitehead
February 2, 2012