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Age Concern Twyford & District
Polehampton Close
Twyford
Berkshire
RG10 9RP
0118 934 4040

Age Concern Twyford and District - the Outreach Programme

Couple at table drinking wine

Some friends socialising at Christmas

We have a number of people over 70 years of age living in and around Twyford. Many of these people are capable of taking care of themselves but in most cases we find that elderly folk do not know what is available to them to make their old age more comfortable.

We want to reach these people, regardless of how dependent they are of others, just to inform them of where they can go to for assistance and what to expect when they get to a stage when they can't care for themselves any more. We are particularly concerned about those people who become socially isolated through no longer having access to transport, or lack of knowledge of how to go about getting a blue badge or even an attendance allowance.

Two women at a table

Debs talking to a service user at the Day Centre

There are a number of ways we plan to reach these people, one of these is through our Newsletter and the other is through our Outreach Programme Manager, Debs Heffernan, who took up her post on the 1st January 2015.

Debs and a team of volunteers will be visiting people in the over 70 years age bracket to inform them of what's available to them and also to tell them about the Day Centre as a place to visit if lonely.

In addition to becoming "friends" with these people, the team would provide information about where to go for care and advice on getting Attendance Allowances, blue disability badges, mobility aids and Lasting Power of Attorney. They can also refer people to other sources of help such as live-in care centres.

We plan to work closely with the local Doctors Surgery and the District Matron and keep them informed about people we see and call on. The Outreach Manager will also become involved with our Carers' Coffee mornings with a view to providing support and building an effective carer network.

Why Outreach and Befriending?

You may be asking questions such as 'why is befriending needed?' and what evidence is there that such a service can make a difference?

There is mounting concern about the levels of isolation and loneliness among older people in particular. The following statistics provide some idea of the extent of the problem in the UK at the present time:

There is also growing evidence of the health risks associated with prolonged isolation and loneliness. These include risks to:

People are living longer today than in the past; this is becoming a challenge for services currently available to the older population, particularly as regards social isolation. Associated with this is the growing number of people living with Dementia.

We want to reach out to those people and help them to enjoy their final years.