The Housing group has been focusing on Housing for Older People. It is the case that older people encounter difficulties as they become infirm and need care so they may live a comfortable life that is meaningful and satisfies their wellbeing needs. It means making difficult choices whether to remain in their current home or whether they choose to downsize. In principle older people would prefer to stay in their own homes because of their emotional ties and memories and neighbourhood, however there are growing numbers who may consider moving if appropriate accommodation could be found.

Should older people choose to move, what is important to them is that they don’t lose their sense of community and feeling of worth which means there has to be a good intergenerational environment. The Vale of Glamorgan Council are well aware of these problems and this is reflected in two completed projects in Barry: Golau Caredig, a 42 apartment project that offers Extra Care facilities, Community areas, a Restaurant and a Coffee Shop, and the redevelopment of Barry Court into 52 units of Affordable Housing. Both good developments.

A thought. The ageing population is becoming larger, the difficulties that lie ahead for today’s families will not go away and perhaps now is the time for sons and daughters to talk to Mum and Dad and see what they might like to do when they get older and thus, be better prepared for the future. The Forum will continue to focus on Housing for Older People and Falls Prevention.

Falls prevention, what does that have to do with Housing?

Falls prevention, what does that have to with Housing? When we look at the statistics for falls prevention we find that 60% of falls in the over 65’s occur in the Home. So, in order to address this problem the Housing Group with guidance from the Health Group are working on this problem. (Suitable homes, Buildings and Home Maintenance etc.) There are a multitude of reasons older people fall but the main reasons are our homes tend to become cluttered and the fact that as we become more mature then we tend to lose muscle strength and lose flexibility in our joints. Just approximately an hour and a half to two hours a week of moderate exercise can improve this situation.

We in the Forum recognise this and are now presenting Exercise Classes, Low Impact Functional Training LIFT (a seated exercise programme) and Tai Chi for Health and Wellbeing at venues in Barry and Penarth. A more recent project is soon to start at the Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital will include a LIFT Exercise Programme, Falls Prevention talks and Dementia Training for Families and Carers.

There are prospects for Volunteers to train as Instructors.
Interested parties can contact me at [email protected] or John Porter the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Older People’s Strategy Co-ordinator: [email protected]

Julian Loach, Chairman, Housing Group

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