Disregard for elderly

Dear Editor,

This news of Cardigan Hospital beds closure comes at a time when Age Cymru Ceredigion are fearing that once again older people services are being targeted and that vulnerable adults will suffer severely because of cuts to financial budgets and changes to delivery of services in communities.

Older people will be left “to cope”, following hospital discharge. Health needs may be “managed” by health professionals and statutory care provided by Social Services, is dependent on an assessment and fulfilment of the criteria of critical & substantial. We worry for those older people who find themselves outside the criteria, with no family support, unable to get their pensions or shopping, unpaid carers who are older people themselves and need respite care, or those who need EMI nursing care in Ceredigion, or who need transport to visit relatives in hospital 30+ miles away. We see a total disregard from local council and Hywel Dda for our older residents in this County.

It is not a difficult question to ask ourselves, all of us, what are we doing about planning for services to accommodate 36,500 older people over the age of 50 who live in Ceredigion? Many have lived and worked here all their lives. Many have retired here. We know we have an ageing population. We need services fit for the future. Who is to blame for this mess? Do some people think older age is inevitable and that lack of quality of life, dignity & respect, advocacy, freedom of choice is something that happens to other people’s parents, grandparents, friends, relatives?

As a charity we can adapt quickly to situations, due to the dedication, enthusiasm and diverse skills of our volunteers. But this news of Cardigan hospital bed closure means we need to recruit more volunteers. We are already looking at how we can rise to this challenge, and look at ways of supporting people in their own homes, following hospital discharge, following a fall, etc.

We are appealing for volunteers; people who want to give up their time to support older people to get back to being independent, who have an interest in befriending, shopping, driving, telephone befriending. We will offer a full induction programme and clear role descriptions per our Investors in Volunteers quality standard.

Following Council budget cuts, our charity is once again struggling financially so we are also appealing for donations to support this new project, to cover line management, volunteer expenses & travel expenses.

If you can help in any way, please contact Gwyneth Jones, 01239 615777, gwyneth.jones@accardigan.org.uk, www.agecymru.org.uk/ceredigion

GWYNETH JONES

Age Cymry Ceredigion

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