New role supports older people in Oldham to gain independence

Age UK PIP AdvisorsOlder people living in Oldham will have access to improved community care and support thanks to partnership working between Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Age UK Oldham.

The partnership has seen the appointment of Promoting Independent People (PIP) advisors, a new role designed to help older people take control and live a more independent life.

The Age UK PIP advisors are funded by Pennine Care and work closely with the integrated community health and social care operating across the borough, as well as local GPs. Older people will be referred by health professionals to the PIP workers if they may be at risk of feeling isolated or anxious about their health issues and need extra support to regain confidence and live life to the full.

Donna Speat, PIP Manager for Age UK Oldham, said: “On a daily basis, GPs and healthcare professionals working in the community come across older people who have experienced events or circumstances that have affected their confidence. The PIP advisors are there to form close links with those working in health services so that those older people have an extra layer of support, whether they are still receiving or have been discharged from health care.”

The PIP advisors will work with individuals to get an understanding of their needs and make a tailored plan that will help them maintain and manage their health conditions, gain independence and increase their social interaction and wellbeing.

Donna added: “Plans put in place by the PIP advisors will include strategies to help manage people’s long-term health conditions and re-engage them into the community, with support to access groups and activities such as lunch clubs, craft sessions, Men in Sheds and volunteering opportunities, to name a few. They’ll also ensure people have practical support by ensuring homes are warm and safe, offering advice on energy saving measures, and linking in with handyman support and the shopping service as required. Providing access to advice and information are just some of the services the PIP advisors can offer that will help people to achieve their aspirations and promote independence.”

Dawn Hobson, Community Nursing Practice Development Lead at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Close working between health and social care organisations can make a huge difference to people living in our communities. The PIP advisors will help to achieve an improved quality of life for older people in Oldham by enabling them to feel positive and in control of their lives.

“In addition, the role of the PIP advisors will help to ensure those discharged from hospital or respite care are comfortable returning home and will reduce the likelihood of them having to be readmitted. We expect that the scheme will also reduce demand on GPs, as PIP advisors will be able to offer support for non-medical issues that people may have seen their GP about previously.”

For more information, speak to your GP or contact Donna Speat on 0161 622 9277 or pip@ageukoldham.org.uk