Abstracts: March 4th, 2009

Currently there are 20 million people in the UK aged over 50 and the over-60s now out-number those under 16. This growth in the number of older people has coincided with support being increasingly directed towards the most needy. Assistance that supports the continued wellbeing and independence of the wider older population has steadily declined. This document from the Department for Work and Pensions describes how the LinkAge Plus pilot programme is seeking to adddress the problem.

LinkAge Plus is providing that ‘little bit of extra help’ vital for promoting older people’s wellbeing. LAP pilot sites have developed initiatives that help to prevent older people’s social exclusion, that allow older people to feel safer and more secure and that promote their physical and mental health, such as exercise classes and educational and leisure activities.

The pilots have also developed approaches that support them to remain living at home, such as help with domestic tasks and gardening and that ensure they are receiving all their welfare entitlements.

LAP pilot sites have developed services that have filled the care gap of the wider older population in order to ensure that older people get a sure start to later life. This is very much in line with the Wanless Review’s observation that older people stress that it is the small things that make the difference and keep them out of hospital, delay deterioration and delay institutionalisation.

The report on LinkAge Plus is available from DWP. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2009-2010/rrep554.pdf