Welcome to the latest issue of Older Wiser Together (OWT).The aim of OWT is to become a trusted and valued part of our community, particularly for those aged 50.

Take Care Campaign

The UK is dependent on an army of exhaustedfamilial carers to look after its increasingly ageing population – but the situation is unsustainable because the people it’s relying on are increasingly under intense personal, professional and emotional strain. Home care can provide much-needed respite to these under pressure carers restoring important family relationships that can suffer when somebody takes on a caring responsibility.  Read more here

There are an estimated 5 million plus people providing unpaid care in the UK but they are given minimal support from the government or local authorities and so find themselves increasingly struggling, without understanding the other support available to them in the market.

The problem is set to get worse as our ageing population grows – there are now more people aged 65 and over in England and Wales than children aged under 15. The number of people aged over 64 has surged by 20% over the past decade in England and Wales, to 11.1 million people. Nearly one in five people are aged over 65.

Our survey by Savata of 2000 family caregivers across the UK unveiled just how much they are struggling to manage their busy lives and care responsibilities, and the impact this is having on them:

  • 88% neglect their own health and wellbeing
  • 65% struggle with their mental health
  • 31% feel they are at breaking point

And for many, there is no end in sight – with some 39% saying they expect to be in this situation for more than five years.

A poor understanding of the social care market – what help and choice is available from private providers and the state – is making life much harder than it needs to be for many.

Over half (59%) know little about what is available, suggesting education is needed to help and support them and to alleviate any stigma associated. 40% believe turning to social care is a sign of weakness for themselves and 44% believe it means they’re failing their family.

More than half (53%) know nothing about the wealth of social care options available through private providers and the different ways to pay for them such as Direct Payments. Home Instead is here to help unpack these mysteries.

Okey Memory Cafe Goes to Adventure Okehampton

Some of the members of Okey Memory Cafewere treated to a try out of some of the differents bikes available atAdventure OkehamptonOur connection withUniversity of Exeter – Project ENLIVENis resulting in lots of opportunties to for those on their journey with dementia to connect with nature in different ways.

Dementia Community Coordinator

As a result of the fantastic success of being awarded a very substantial grant by the National Lottery,Tavistock Dementia Alliance now has a part time Dementia Coordinator.  Amanda has extensive charity and social care experience and is hitting the ground running!  She is linking up with local groups in Tavistock and developing a plan to best support those on their journey with dementia and their loved ones.

Vicky and her Guide Dog Elvis

It is always interesting to hear a perspective from those who have a sensory impairment.  Being able to walk in another person’s shoes gives us a more balanced understanding overall.  Vicky and her loyal guide dog Elvis visited Okey Memory Cafe recently and shared how her life is with a Guide Dog and the difference it makes.  Thank you so much Vicky for taking the time talk to the group.

Tavistock Dementia Alliance Coop Local Cause

Tavistock Dementia Alliance has been successful in its bid to be the Coop Local Cause for the coming year.

Although the TDA has a significant grant from the National Lottery they still require an amount of match funding to be able to fully fund their part time employee over 5 years.  If you can support the TDA and make it your local cause for this year, please do follow this linkCoop Local Cause.

Above and Beyond

The amazing work our staff do everyday our in the community is always at the front of our minds.  Media reports can be, at times, lacking in positivity about social care but everyday our Care Professionals are changing lives and allowing clients to live their lives how they would like – at home.  Although our staff are busy out in the community, we are constantly reaching out to them, meeting with them and giving them that little bit of acknowledgement to say how much we value them. Here we are saying thank you to Clare for her fantastic work.

A Good Read

You may have heard of the author Richard Osman (he has appeared on TV on Pointless and House of Games) and his Thursday Murder Club series.  These series of books follow the adventures of four pensioners who live in a retirement complex, and who investigate unsolved murder cases.  The books are fantastic comedy value and make you laugh out loud. Home Instead is suggesting just his most recent book in the series – The Last Devil to Die.  Although still as charming and as funny as always, this book is very moving, dealing with the subject of dementia beautifully and with dignity.  A very poignant read but do stick on your Christmas list or pop to the library to borrow a copy. You can order from Amazon.