Old age is an opportunity not a burden
A conference jointly organised by the RSA (South West) and RESEC in March 2016 in Exeter
Speakers included Councillor Andrea Davies, chair of Devon’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and Simon Harrison, chair of RESEC.
Over 65 people attended and over 15 speakers contributed to a very interesting morning
1. To ensure much more coordination of national and local government, voluntary, faith and community groups to end duplication, concentrate resources, give priority to prevention and combat resistance to change.
2. To ask communities to produce a local vision of how the needs of older citizens can be met.
3. To develop community hubs to give people easy access to health and social care, information and advice, education, arts, leisure
4. To require health and social care agencies to act on the presumption that frail older people are not admitted to acute hospitals with “hospital at home” as the community alternative. There should be a redirection of funding to provide adequate community nursing and social care.
5. To give priority to tackling social isolation by developing innovative ideas which can be developed and then be taken out to lonely older people in their homes.
6. To encourage housing and social care agencies to work together to ensure older people can access suitable housing with advice and assistance easily available to help people “downsize” to accessible, sustainable and cheaper-to-run accommodation.
7. To publicise and develop web sites to allow older people to find opportunities for employment and voluntary work using their experience and expertise.
8. To tackle the Devon challenge by supporting high quality cultural projects, and projects based on reminiscence therapy
9. To recognise the crucial role of volunteering and the major role played by older people, and the consequent need for adequate support including the importance, particularly in rural Devon, of access to transport