The importance of older people having a voice, resonated loud and clear at the first meeting of the regional Older Person’s Advisory Group, which met at Plas Hyfryd, Caerphilly this week.
The aim of the Group, lead by Ruth Marks, Reach Older Persons Director is to bring together residents living in extra care accommodation and residents receiving domiciliary care across South Wales, supported by Reach, to form a collective voice on real issues that matter to older people.
Ruth said ‘I meet older people regularly in our extra care and care at home services. The Advisory Group is an opportunity for people from different areas to meet together for us to listen to views with a regional perspective. Hearing people’s voices is absolutely vital in making sure that people are happy, involved in things that interest them and are free from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The complexity of care services can be bewildering so it is key that we continue to work with older people to ensure services are designed and shaped to better reflect older people’s needs. It is vital that older people fully understand the different services, so they do not suffer the devastation of finding themselves isolated and potentially subject to being mistreated or abused’.
World Elder Abuse Day on June 14 is an important reminder that we all have a role to play to ensure that older people are in control of all the decisions about their lives.
Residents from extra care services in Caerphilly, Blackwood, Cardiff and even as far as Bridgend came along to the meeting and had the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences both as a group and also on a one to one basis.
We were also delighted to have with us Fiona Price and Simon Taylor from Boots to discuss medication regimes and the support that Boots can offer with supporting people to better understand their medication. They have also been on hand to offer advice to individuals and have been performing blood pressure checks throughout the afternoon for tenants and staff alike!
The feedback from the afternoon was extremely positive with the group very keen to have similar events organised in the future. They found being able to meet other residents who live in similar schemes particularly rewarding, as well as talking to a variety of external agencies.