Photo from Oomph!
For this initial pilot, we are supporting 10 Award Winners from across the UK who have ideas that focus on older people and preventative services.
THE SOCIAL CARE CHALLENGE
We believe that preventing social isolation among older people is a no-brainer.
People in later life are particularly vulnerable to loneliness. It reduces their quality of life and wellbeing, and directly harms their health.
Finding ways to keep people connected has a huge personal benefit. People in strong social relationships are more likely to remain healthy and independent, and live longer.
Preventing isolation also has benefits for the immediate community. Well-connected people in later life are more likely to volunteer or provide support to others.
It also benefits the rest of society. Lonely and socially isolated people are more likely to have early admission to residential or nursing care, and to suffer from mental and physical illness. So keeping older people connected can reduce demand for costly health and care interventions.
The Government and Opposition agree on the importance of preventative adult social care that will result in better health and long-term savings. But health budgets and local authorities face a squeeze.
As Shadow Local Government Minister Hilary Benn says,
“It’s going to be harder for councils to keep services going, let alone cope with rising demand for social care as the number of older people increases”.
Everyone recognises the long-term value of preventative services, but it will be harder for local authorities to allocate resources to them. And finding ways for private individuals to pay is challenging, even with the advent of personal budgets.
More than ever, innovative solutions and revenue models are needed – and this is where our Award Winners will come in.