A friendly knock at the door will help to bring reassurance as we join forces with Royal Mail to help older people to stay well and independent at home.
People are being encouraged to register for the six-month Safe and Connected trial scheme, which focuses on Whitby, Sleights and Goathland. The trial will work with up to 100 people aged over 65.
“This is about offering a helping hand to people who are living independently, but are perhaps at risk of becoming isolated or lonely or would benefit from someone checking up on them regularly,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health.
The Government-funded trial will involve postmen and postwomen from Royal Mail’s Whitby delivery office visiting participants twice a week to check on their wellbeing. They will ask set questions about the participant’s health and happiness, whether they have had difficulty taking part in social activities, whether they’ve had problems with anyone bothering them and whether they would like to speak to someone about anything they need help with or that is worrying them. The postal workers will record the responses on their handheld mobile devices.
Any issues will be reported to the County Council’s Living Well team and a member of the team will visit the participant to talk about their concerns and discuss what support is required.
Living Well was launched by the County Council in 2015 to work with people to prevent them becoming isolated, help to improve their health and to develop their interests. Team members provide help with practical and emotional issues. They have visited more than 5,000 people, many of them over 75 and living alone. More than 90 per cent of people visited say the support was successful and almost three quarters showed a meaningful improvement in their wellbeing.
Cllr Dickinson said: “Safe and Connected fits very well with the work of our Living Well team. It’s about looking after each other, which has always been at the heart of our communities. Loneliness and isolation can take their toll on people’s wellbeing. Safe and Connected offers a chance to address these issues early. I urge anyone who feels they may benefit from this trial to consider registering.”
County Councillor David Chance, member for Whitby Mayfield cum Mulgrave and Executive Member for Stronger Communities, added: “We’re known for our neighbourliness in North Yorkshire and this trial builds on that. We all have a role to play as good neighbours, whether as individuals or as the County Council with its partners in Royal Mail and the Government.”
Anyone who feels they could benefit from the scheme or knows someone who could, should contact Living Well co-ordinator Louise Partlett on 01609 532962 or at Louise.Partlett@northyorks.gov.uk or Living Well team manager Trudy Rodgers on 01609 536632 or at Trudy.Rodgers@northyorks.gov.uk. A Living Well co-ordinator will contact the person to arrange to visit them in their home and register them for the scheme by filling in a simple form.
There will also be an opportunity for people to sign up at Larpool Lane elderly people’s home, 1 Larpool Lane, Whitby, on Wednesday, 24 October, from 10am to 4pm. People can contact Louise Partlett on the number above to book an appointment. A home visit can be arranged on a different day for anyone who cannot attend the Larpool Lane session.
The trial, which will run until March next year, is funded by the Home Office and is running at three locations across the country. The other locations are Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Thames. The start of the trial coincides with launch of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy on Monday, 15 October, and forms part of the Home Office’s contribution to the strategy. The trial is based on the successful Call and Check scheme operated in Jersey.