We time-travel back one year with regular contributor, Snorkelfish, who brought us this report on Ageing Well.
A year has passed and we’d like to share news of a contribution to the cause that we’d like your help with. Please read on at the end of the post – It may be something for you, or someone you know.
On Tuesday 26th January, 2016 at The Queens’ Hall in Narberth. ‘Fish had heard that there was an ‘Ageing Well in Wales’ conference and was keen to find out what was going on.
Steve Huxton, Network Coordinator from Older Wales, had sent me an agenda. It’s a busy afternoon ahead with a great turn out.
The Older Persons Strategy is working in Pembrokeshire with a number of projects aimed towards more age-friendly communities in our lovely county. There are now over 900 organisations and individuals involved in making this strategy work, and the network is growing quickly.
The need for Age Friendly communities is obvious if you are older, but there are also many benefits for everyone else. By supporting older people to be active, we improve the local economy (older people support local businesses) and their wisdom and experience are an invaluable asset in all aspects of community life.
The issues raised that allow older people to continue to participate were gathered from the community itself. Older people are particularly concerned about affordable transport, and housing. Social inclusion makes people feel valuable and so do opportunities to work as long as we want to. It was also highlighted that correct, accessible information is very important so people know where to get support and advice.
Strategies to improve our chances of ageing well in Pembrokeshire – Fishguard and Goodwick are off to a flying start with organisers asking people what they want. High on the list of concerns expressed by older people and by their carers are loneliness and isolation.
Marc Mordey, from Alcohol Concern Cymru, Marc Evans from POINT and Zoe Davies from Fishguard and Goodwick Young Persons Trust, spoke about their various contributions. They have involved younger people and older people in mentoring each other.
Young people have been teaching older people how to use SKYPE, for example, so they can keep in touch with friends and family. Older people have been sharing their own life skills. The speakers highlighted how valuable this was and how young people got valuable life lessons that support them in getting into work.
A cyber cafe is planned for the future and more inter-generational trips to continue with this good work.
Lena Dixon, speaking to us from Solva Care, told us about a 28 volunteer strong team working in the area aiming to improve quality of life for older people and their families and carers. The volunteers can offer a range of services from simply listening, or walking the dog, to trips out and about. Solva Care also have a room at the village surgery where people can come for advice.
Emma Lewis, from PACTO (Pembrokeshire Association of Community Transport Operators) spoke to us about PIVOT, which is a trial of small projects aimed at improving Health Care.
She told us that PACTO, RVS, AGE CYMRU, Pembrokeshire Care and Repair and PAVs were all working together with the aim of supporting people to stay out of hospital and at home. If people are already in hospital they are working to support them to go home safely. They have a team of dedicated volunteers who work 365 days of the year collecting people from hospital and checking home is stocked with edibles and safe and warm.
Up to six weeks of support can be arranged when necessary under this scheme but people who want to use the service need to be referred by a doctor, social worker or other health care professional.
Other speakers such as Rachel Gibby (Older Person’s Strategy Coordinator for Pembrokeshire County Council) showed a video outlining work being done around ‘Good Neighbours’ and included information about Dementia Friends and St David’s Memory Café, which takes place in the Discovery Room, Oriel Y Parc in St. Davids.
Finally, representing Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Tom Moses treated us to some slides of Pembrokeshire’s most beautiful countryside and coast and outlined work that the National Parks are doing to support people to be more physically active.
He signposted us to the Coast to Coast website where you can download over 200 maps that indicate level of difficulty, where carparks and toilets can be found, and what wildlife you can expect to see in the area.
In addition, we were told about beach wheelchairs and accessible beaches. There is also a booklet called ‘Walks for All’ outlining 20 different accessible walks and other downloadable material. Alongside of this, there are other projects, like Beach art and Walkability.
Bids are going in soon for the funding of new projects, so Marc Mordey would be pleased to hear any feedback or ideas you may have.
For more information, here are a few useful contacts that can help:
- Ageing Well In Pembrokeshire.
- Memory Café, St David’s: Carers and potential volunteers to contact Annie Halliwell 01437 720713
Carers: a list of carers groups, and information on support and advice can be obtained from Pembrokeshire County Council Carers Information Services: 01437 764551
- Pembrokeshire Good Neighbour Scheme: As above.
- For people looking to volunteer, and a list of training events, contact PAVS, 01437 769422.
- Alcohol Concern: Marc Mordey, 07474006269; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Over 50’s Social Group – contact Rachel Evans, 01437 769422; email@example.com
- Buses: Fishguard and Goodwick Dial-a-Ride, tel: 0800 7831584.
- Fishguard Flyer: 0845 686 0242
- Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – tel: 01646 624800; infopembrokeshirecoast.org.uk
If you have an enquiry concerning Ageing Well in Wales, not covered above, please call 02920 445036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to find out more about Age-friendly communities, loads of useful tools and resources can be found at the Ageing Well in Wales website.
“…Isolation and loneliness”
Now, we are planning the launch of PembsLifeOnline USB-TV for those who cannot get out to fully engage in life in Pembrokeshire.
Those who are becoming increasingly isolated and lonely, through age or infirmity, disability or injury, or any other reason that leaves them stuck at home or in care, will be able to enjoy a monthly TV programme of current events, activities, pastimes – including interviews, music from live gigs, religious services, poetry and prose readings – Jackanory style – with English and Welsh content – sport, walks, pets and wildlife – and so much more!
We need your help to get going and help make a difference to so many lives right here in Pembrokeshire.
It is free to subscribe – we are gearing up to role out this service and will post bulletins regularly to announce progress.
PembrokeshireLifeOnline CIC is a Registered and regulated Community Interest Company – not for profit.