Why older people?
Lambeth is a young borough compared with other parts of the country. But just like everywhere else, people are living longer and age can bring increased health complications along with the need for a helping hand. We want to help ensure that older Lambeth residents receive the right care and support when they need it, so that everyone can get the best out of later life.
Our focus areas
- We're involved in an Advance Care Planning three-year project to make advance care planning more accessible for the borough’s diverse communities.
- The ‘care behind closed doors’ programme covers care homes, extra care housing and care at home.
- The ‘Going Home’ project looks at older people’s experiences of the transfer of care from hospital to home.
- We are also investigating ways to tackle loneliness and isolation and to build stronger community connections.
1. Advance Care Planning
Healthwatch Lambeth has joined a consortium together with a range of local organisations that are working to promote advance care planning across Lambeth, which aims to support you to help think ahead about how you would like to be cared for at the end of your life or if you became too unwell to express your wishes.
2. Going Home
Many older people are staying in hospital longer than they need to because of difficulties in making arrangements for their return home.
We have a rolling programme of Enter and View visits to hospital wards to gather patients’ experiences of being in hospital and their perceptions of the discharge process. We are also tracking people’s experiences as they leave hospital to find out how well services work together and to help identify where the problems are.
The feedback we gather is helping to improve the support people receive over their recovery journey.
3. Care behind closed doors
We have a regular programme of visits to care homes which includes working with Lambeth Council to support those that are under-performing.
Our work in this area is also concerned with how our local care system is responding to national challenges such as supporting an increasingly ageing population to maintain their independence and wellbeing.
- At the end of 2019, we visited three care homes to support the council to improve the services.
- In 2014/15, we reviewed all of Lambeth’s extra care schemes to help inform the Council’s planned expansion of the service.
- We also gathered views on services for people living with dementia in care homes and independently in their own homes with support from family carers.
When we talked to residents in Lambeth’s extra care schemes, many people told us they felt lonely and cut off from their local community. We are now exploring what works in tackling social isolation.
In 2018 e helped to evaluate the first two years of Project Smith, by gathering feedback from people taking part in activities supported by the Lambeth Wellbeing Fund and those involved in the Community Connectors scheme.
Overall, this community investment approach already appears to be paying dividends and we look forward to seeing further creative ideas and health and wellbeing benefits fostered by the programme across the borough.