This post is from Jon Carling, Chief Executive of the Commission for Rural Communities
The Commission for Rural Communities is pleased to be working with the Age Action Alliance and has engaged with a number of member organisations over the past few months. We’re running a project this year looking at social isolation as experienced by older people living in rural communities. The project includes a combination of desk research, interviews with stakeholders, and visits to rural areas to gain the experiences of older people, and to identify good practice in providing services, often through the voluntary and community sector. We’ll produce a report making recommendations to Ministers before the end of March 2012.
Recent highlights have been a visit to Esk Moors Caring in North Yorkshire (a great example of what a community can achieve with the enthusiasm and commitment of local people), and NHS Devon where they are running a ‘virtual wards’ programme which enables people to have high levels of care in their own homes. The virtual wards are an example of pro-active care, where a range of NHS data sources is used to help identify people at risk of ill health and then largely preventative processes are used to help ensure that the risk reduced.
More details of this CRC project can be found athttp://www.defra.gov.uk/crc/files/social-isolation-experienced-by-older-people-in-rural-areas.pdf
I’d be interested to hear other members’ thoughts on these issues, please do post below or contact me via the Commission’s website.