Helping People Retain Their Independence
A scheme aimed at helping more older people in South Tyneside to live independently was officially launched this week.
Blenkinsop Court in South Shields has been converted from a Housing Plus to an Extra Care scheme with a care and support team on site 24 hours a day. The additional support means that fewer people will need to reside in residential care.
Empty apartments at Blenkinsop Court have been renovated to make them more accessible for people with mobility issues and dementia-friendly areas, including a garden, have also been created.
Although aimed at all adults, the Extra Care schemes are primarily for adults with frailty or dementia. Before the conversion, many residents of Blenkinsop Court were aged over 70 and had care needs so they have already benefited from the move to an Extra Care scheme.
One resident who now lives in Blenkinsop is 97-year-old Doris Dawson.
Her daughter-in-law, Lesley Dawson, said: "Doris is thriving in Blenkinsop Court. She has company when she wants it and it's massively important to us that she is keeping her independence.
Doris used to live in her own home until two years ago with the help of telecare. However, following a stroke and a stay in hospital, it was decided that she could not go back home.
Lesley added: "For the first time in a long time, we can actually relax, knowing that care is available on site for Doris if she needs it. Her carers go above and beyond, Blenkinsop Court has been a godsend all round. I cannot praise it highly enough."
Councillor Anne Hetherington, Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, said: "In line with our priority of supporting our older and vulnerable communities, we are committed to providing the support they need to live healthy, independent lives.
"We know most people want to retain their independence and stay connected to their communities for as long as possible and this scheme allows them to do just that."