Helping People to Live Independent Lives
A plan to help older people in South Tyneside retain their independence is to get underway this winter.
Empty flats in Thomas Bell House - a sheltered housing facility - are to be used to house people coming out of hospital who need additional support before going back home.
Support will be provided on site to those accessing the flats to enable them to regain their independence before they return to their own home. This is in line with the Council's 'home-first' approach to adult social care following feedback from residents who said they wanted to live well at home rather than go into residential care. This move also shows the Council delivering on its priority of supporting older and more vulnerable communities.
Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "At the moment people are being discharged from hospital directly into care homes. Once there, many people lose their independence skills and there is a risk they end up staying there on a long term basis.
"Our older people have told us that they want to continue living independently in their own homes for as long as possible and this plan is aimed at helping them achieve just that."
Funding has been secured from the South Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group for the 12 flats to be re-decorated and fund 24/7 care. Assistive technology will be used to help people regain their independence.
Deep cleans will be carried out to maximise infection control between occupants.
The properties will be used as a short-term recovery service over the challenging winter period until next April.