Local Opportunities for Older People
In early 2014 EVOC and Pilmeny Development Project launched LOOP (Local Opportunities for Older People) Networks in each of the Health and Social Care quadrants. These local networks, which corresponded to the Healthy Living Partnership, developed by Pilmeny Development Project in Leith, were developed in partnership with Pilmeny Development Project and City of Edinburgh Council to improve uptake of social activities and preventative services by Edinburgh’s older people.
There are now four LOOPs projects running across the City, the Hospital Discharge Support Project and Community Navigators work within the new locality settings, and the LOOPs Phoneline offers citywide information for older people in Edinburgh.
- Hospital Discharge Support Project
The aim of the HDSP is to reduce the time that older people need to remain within acute hospital environments and reduce the numbers of people being admitted to hospital, where there would be appropriate community based supports available. The Community Wellbeing Team work with adults over 65 who are at risk of hospitalisation or delayed discharge. They offer a signposting service to preventative third sector services in the community and manage any referrals. They work with statutory and third sector colleagues to gain referrals, and act as the third sector interface within Health and Social Care settings.
- Community Navigators
Community Navigators work with older people on-the-ground by providing a regular presence in the places that people are likely to be – shopping centres, libraries, supermarkets. At these sites information and advice can be sought. The main role of navigators is to deliver ‘Information Stations’ The Information Stations will not only include a friendly face but also a wealth of knowledge about the services, groups and activities in each locality, and publish two ‘Discover’ magazines in each locality, per year, providing information specific to each locality for those 65+
- LOOPs Phoneline
The Phoneline is a dedicated service to help people who are 65+ living in Edinburgh. The Phoneline can help clients find groups, clubs, social events and services in their local area. LOOPs advisors research activities to combat loneliness and isolation for older people in Edinburgh, on client’s behalves and get to back them with information as well as details on how to travel to activities. Health professionals, family or friends of an older person, or the older person themselves can contact the phone line for information.
Our primary aim is to improve communication and signposting between the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors and strengthen three underutilised referral routes into community based preventative services and activities :
- Vulnerable or at-risk, socially isolated older people who, for whatever reason, are not accessing services – this might include older people from specific equalities groups, for example, older lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender [LGBT] or black or minority ethnic [BME] older people who might find services difficult to access.
- Older people who have undergone some form of assessment but have been assessed as ‘low’ to ‘moderate’ need and who need to be signposted to additional community based preventative services or social activities.
- Older people who have been assessed as requiring services but who would benefit from additional community based services or activities. This might include older people who are undergoing a transition, perhaps from a more clinical provision to provision within the community.
This work has the following strategic aims and ambitions:
- Strengthening of local infrastructure – providing a supported forum for local organisations to come together – to share information/perspectives/ideas – in order to increase the uptake of all local community services by local older people. Building on and maximising the considerable contribution which the voluntary sector already makes in providing preventative services for older people.
- Strengthening community capacity and resilience – so that communities are more able to provide informal support for local vulnerable older people.
- Strengthening the voice of local older people – so that they have a direct impact on the services that are available locally and how these are designed to meet their needs.
LOOPs has a monthly newsletter, which contains any updates & news for the four localities, as well as meeting dates. To subscribe to the newsletter, please email email@example.com.
LOOPs Network Meetings
There are LOOPs Network meetings, quarterly, in each of Edinburgh’s four localities. These are a place for third sector organisations to network with other older people’s services in their area, and to hear from speakers on relevant topics or issues that have risen in the sector. See Meeting Dates for the next meeting in your locality.