Local participatory research undertaken by Brighton and Hove Age UK shows that older people want services to be treated as individuals and for services to be ‘person-centred’. New ways of commissioning services for older people are already resulting in providers , both statutory and community and voluntary agencies working together to provide creative solutions and minimise gaps in service.
Older people are increasingly being supported to be independent at home with an increase of home care services in line with a decrease in care home placements. There has also been significant investment in post hospital short term re-abling services. New forms of technology, such as telecare and assistive technology are being actively promoted, enhancing independence.
Day Activities for older people have been reviewed by older people and their carers and this is resulting in a radical new way of commissioning services. Development of a citywide coordination project has made Information on ‘grassroots’ activity such as lunch clubs much easier to access and a new way of commissioning day services in activity hubs will ensure better coordination and minimisation of gaps.
Dementia services were boosted with the implementation of a new Integrated Memory Assessment Service, involving a range of partners, employment of a dementia champion at the hospital, along with a capital project to develop dementia friendly environments in care homes, the hospital and GP practices.
A range of arts and digital media organisations have pro-actively engaged older people, who have influenced their programmes of work and helped to increase their older audience.
People in the city believe older age should be celebrated. Older People’s Day 2013 took this approach with a series of special events culminating in a celebratory awards ceremony sponsored by local businesses.
The Warm Homes Healthy People Programme which aims to reduce local excess winter deaths, fuel poverty and the impact of cold homes on health is a partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council, NHS Brighton and Hove and the local Community and Voluntary Sector. The 2012/13 programme included a wide range of interventions, including energy advice and assessment visits, emergency winter grants and public information events and community workshops.
In 2013, Brighton and Hove joined the WHO Age Friendly City network in order to encourage a strategic approach to active ageing. This approach has both cross-party support and the support of the Local Strategic Partnership as well as a broad range of older people’s organisations. Brighton & Hove City Council has brought together a range of key agencies and older people’s groups to act as a steering group for the initiative. Work on the development of a baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the city has commenced, using the eight domains as specified by the WHO.