OAP support scheme extended

A SCHEME helping elderly people stay in their own homes for longer, rather than going permanently into a care home, is being extended in Swansea.

The Step Up beds service at St John’s Residential Care Home was introduced by Swansea Council last year to help support older people to stay at home after a crisis such as an illness or a fall by providing them with short-term intensive support.

Thanks to its success in enabling elderly people to retain their independence, the scheme is being extended to two more council care homes, Rose Cross and Bonymaen House. Gillian Campbell, the principal care officer at St John’s, said: “The scheme started here nearly two years ago as a way to help people who were in a crisis because of illness or an accident.

“A social worker would be called out to someone in a temporary crisis and that person may need some kind of care in a residential care home. But staying as a long-term resident is not always what they wanted, and so we arranged the step-up service.

“As soon as someone comes to us they are assessed by health professionals such as physiotherapists, as well as social services staff.

“We give them the care they need and make sure the support has been put in place for their return home.

“For example, this might mean installing equipment to make it easier to do things.”

Mark Child, cabinet member for wellbeing, said: “It’s a really good idea and it’s another example of the way the council works to tailor our support in a way that appropriately meets the individual needs of older people.”