Looking at care for our elderly - again

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TWO years into their own ten year ‘Transforming services for older people’ programme Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders and their partners are back asking people for their views at a series of public meetings on yet more changes - this time to deliver the Scottish Government’s Reshaping Care for Older People agenda.

Carer support groups, the voluntary sector, independent care providers and local residents have already attended sessions elsewhere in the Borders and now organisers have turned their attention to Berwickshire, with meetings planned for Duns at the Volunteer Hall on Monday, June 25, from 10am-1pm, and Eyemouth Community Centre on June 26, again from 10am to 1pm.

The sessions are open to anyone with an interest in the provision of older people’s services to enable them to find out more about the Government’s proposals and have their say about the improvements being planned for the delivery of health and social care services across the Borders in the future.

Elaine Torrance, SBC’s acting director of social work explained: “Scotland’s older population is anticipated to increase by around two thirds in the next twenty years.

“Here in the Borders, this is predicted to result in a 58 per cent increase in the number of people aged 65-74 and a 93 percent increase in the numbers aged 75 and over. People are living longer and older people already make a valuable contribution to their communities by assisting in running local groups and volunteering. However, we also need to work more closely together to make sure our services are fit for purpose and will meet future needs.

“At its heart, reshaping care is about people having more choice about services that are available to them in their local communities. These services can be provided by a range of providers, including the council, NHS Borders and the voluntary and independent sectors but also local communities themselves. We are already seeing the benefits of closer working between the public, independent and voluntary sectors at a local level but there is so much more we can and want to do to ensure that we are making the best use of the joint resources available to us.”

Councillor Frances Renton, executive member for social work is keen to hear local feedback. She said: “The responses so far have been invaluable in terms of helping us to understand more about the issues that are important to local people and their communities. I would encourage anyone with an interest in older people’s services to come along. If you can’t make it on the day or missed your own local event, you can give your feedback directly to the Reshaping Care team.”

Jane Davidson, chief operating officer for NHS Borders added: “We all recognise the importance of maintaining our independence and it shouldn’t be any different as we get older. We may need more help and support, but that shouldn’t mean we have to leave our homes permanently to get it.”