London Borough of Barnet

Proposals for older people’s day services agreed by Cabinet

Published Thursday 19 July 2012

Proposals aimed at reshaping and modernising the way day services are provided to older people in the borough, have been agreed by Cabinet.

On Tuesday (17 July) Barnet Council’s Cabinet agreed that plans for implementing four models for reshaping day opportunities for older people be developed in partnership with service providers before being brought back to Cabinet Resources Committee later this year.

The council carried out a consultation on the proposals following feedback from some older people and carers that current services may not offer enough choice for all residents, and that there could be greater opportunities to support the independence of older people in Barnet.

Although day services are valued by those who use them, they are only available to a small minority of older people and the new models seek to make them available to a broader range of residents in future.

Demand for services also continues to increase at a time of significant pressure on public spending.

It is anticipated that that the four strands to the new model will better meet the needs of older people. The new model will include:

A ‘Later Life Planners’ model to help people plan for their retirement, providing information and advice about funding of care, staying active and healthy, housing and support options and being involved in the local community.

A ‘Neighbourhood Services’ model which will include activities and social events being set up as locally as possible to promote well-being and reduce isolation. These services will be open to all older people in the borough but will particularly aim to support those living alone or those facing hardship.

The ‘Practical Support’ model will offer a handyperson service and support for people moving back home after a spell in hospital. These proposals proved popular during consultation.

The ‘Care & Activity’ model will remodel existing day centre services for older people who are particularly frail, or with complex needs, including those with high levels of dementia, to provide personalised support for older people and their families.

The proposed funding for each of the models would see £150,000 allocated to the Later Life Planners model; £150,000 for the Practical Support model; £1.4million for the Care and Activity model and £550,000 for the Neighbourhood Services model – this includes an additional £150,000 of funding being allocated to the Neighbourhood Services model to take into account consultation findings.

The council will be working with existing service providers, residents and volunteers over the next few months to help make the changes happen.

Councillor Sachin Rajput, Cabinet Member for Adults, said: “At the moment the opportunities on offer are not reaching as many people as they should, and the models agreed by cabinet are intended to address that.

“Expectations for retirement have also changed with more people wanting to live independently for as long as possible. We want to help as many people as possible to plan ahead for a healthier, more active later life.

“The need to reshape services, while saving money, will mean changes, but we will be working very closely with providers over the coming months to make sure our services meet the changing needs of our older population.”

Contact press officer: Nick Griffin