Innovations with Wellbeing Teams in Dumfries

Have you found yourself thinking that the stairs are getting steeper, the TV is blurrier or regularly having to stretch because your legs are stiff?

Welcome to maturity! I read a funny story recently:  Margaret recognised someone they went to school with, and was struck how old they looked.  Margaret approached the person and asked if they remembered her from school. The person looked her up and down and said ‘which teacher were you?’

In our minds we are still the same person we’ve always been and can’t always relate this to the reflection in the mirror.  Depending on our age we may still be kidding ourselves we aren’t aging and can carry on living our lives in the same way we always done.

The statistics have been around for a while, we are an aging population with a declining workforce. As Lesley mentioned in her blog   we face a challenge with our aging population.  People aged 60 and over make up 32.0 per cent of Dumfries and Galloway. This is larger than Scotland where 24.4 per cent are aged 60 and over.

At present the life expectancy for women aged 65 is another 19.8 years (84.8). For men aged 65 it is 17.8 (82.8). The age group of 75+ is projected to increase the most in size in Dumfries and Galloway over the next 25 years.

In contrast the population aged under 16 in Dumfries and Galloway is projected to decline by 8.8 per cent over the 25 year period. However we are already experiencing a shortfall in workforce. I was talking with Justin Thomas, Programme Manager with DG Developing Young Workforce LINK, who shared with me that in 9 years’ time 2 out of 3 school leavers will be needed to go into jobs in the Care Sector.  And anyone who is presently 50 is looking at a bleak future if they require care.

So the race is on! How does the Care sector become more attractive as a career to the shrinking workforce and are there any better ways out there to improve the support offered to those in need?

Two care companies in partnership with Community Circles are presently piloting an innovative model to improve personal care at home. Care Solutions, Rainbow Services and the Commissioner for Dumfries and Galloway were nominated in the Innovative Practice Category at the Scottish Care Awards, Friday 12th May 2017. This award celebrates a team who have embraced the principles of person-centred care and partnerships working with an innovative approach to empowering people to have more control over the support they need in their lives.

Nicola Hay, MD for Care Solutions (2nd from the right) commented:

Whilst we didn’t scoop the top prize we were very humbled to be chosen as finalists in the Innovation Award category at the Scottish Care Awards last Friday. We are delighted to be part of a celebration of care excellence in Scotland!”

Dumfries WB Team

Helen Sanderson, who nominated the team said: “this is an exciting partnership which is offering a person-centered approach, enabling people who use services to be decision makers in recruiting the staff who support them”.

Working alongside the Wellbeing Teams, the Community Circle Connectors can start to spread out this programme into the lives of those receiving personal care at home.  By tapping into the naturally occurring relationships in people’s lives from family members, neighbours and friends we can pull together a circle or form a particular focus with an existing support network to enhance the life of each person at the centre of their circle.

As someone who looks in the mirror and wonders who is that person with grey hair, I am delighted to be part of the programme to bring Community Circles into Dumfries. I look forward to learning and growing with the Circles and seeing their practices and values become embedded in the local culture.  For as much as I still believe I’m 33, in a decade or so I may be very grateful to be at the centre of my own Circle of support!

And if I need personal care at home, then I may find my Wellbeing Team Workers are called Archie and Emily, as these are the most popular names given to children in our region in 2016!

For more information about Wellbeing Teams take a look at our animate Introduction to Wellbeing Teams

Ali Gibson

Community Circles Connector

Dumfries and Galloway