County backs bid to keep elderly active

A PROJECT that will help Northumberland’s older residents keep active in their communities is to be supported by Northumberland County Council.

The council has agreed a grant of £10,000 to the housing association, Isos, for a co-ordinated project to empower older people, or people with a disability, to make choices about the services they receive to improve their lives.

Isos currently has 1,500 older peoples’ properties in the county, many of which are in rural locations.

The landlord will employ a member of staff to engage with all their older residents in Northumberland to establish which services they are interested in which are not currently available to them through statutory agencies, such as someone to put up curtains etc or any social interests that they would like to take part in.

The needs of residents will be matched to existing voluntary services in the area. Residents will have the choice of being signposted to the relevant agency or Isos will actively engage the agencies on their behalf.

The project aims to promote independence and wellbeing, particularly to those people who are socially or physically isolated in some of the more rural communities.

Coun Ian Lindley, executive member for adult care and wellbeing, said: “The council is committed to supporting older or disabled residents to live an independent life.

“They have told us that they feel more valued when they feel they can contribute to their local community. This project will help to make sure that older people know how to get in touch with organisations that could help them to do so.”

Isos proposes to have a checking and monitoring system in place to ensure that residents are satisfied with the service offered and that it meets their expectations.

Alison Urquhart, older persons manager for Isos Housing, said: “We are glad to receive this funding, which will help us signpost our residents to all the services they can benefit from, and prevent them becoming isolated.”