Scale of isolation among elderly people in Cambridgeshire revealed in council survey


- Credit: Archant

More than a third of older people never leave the home, a report has revealed.

A total of 575 people took part in the Adult Social Care User Experience Survey 2013/4, which will go before

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Adults Committee later this month.

More than a quarter of respondents (118 people) - which equates to more than a third of elderly respondents - said they never left their home.

One respondent said: “Due to increased mobility I am unable to go out without being taken in my wheelchair.

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“I therefore do not attend any social activity clubs and my carers are my social life.”

Another respondent said: “I’m almost locked in because I can’t go out at all. I’m frightened to go out because

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I’ve had quite a few falls I’m very lonely.”

Seventy per cent respondents said they had a good quality of life, while 90 per cent said care and support services helped them have a better quality of life.

Ninety-one per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with their care and support services.

However, some respondents said they found the “constant changing” of care workers made the service “unreliable”.

“There is a lack of communication between staff and myself. This does not mean all staff, but some staff. There is poor room quality to do with maintenance. I’ve had no hot shower, heating and hot water for over three months,” one respondent said.

One in three respondents said they pay for additional care and support services privately or pay to “top up” their care.

To combat isolation amongst the Cambs population, the council has launched a Transforming Lives project.

A Community Navigators scheme is in place where volunteers or members of organisations help older people find their way to activities they would enjoy or find useful.

Also, Fenland District Council puts on Golden Age events for the over 65s and libraries run projects targeted at older people.

The report said: “Although in general performance is stable, and on the whole positive, some of the themes coming through on comments are worrying and merit further consideration.

“We have completed an action plan which sets out what work is currently underway to address each issue, and any additional work we have committed to undertake.”

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