Coventry City Council propose to introduce a "Telecare" system to support social care services within the City, saying that this will enable people to remain independent, and will minimise the need for more intensive health and social care services. As a consequence they say it would enable them to close Aylesford short-term residential home. Coventry Older Voices have several concerns about this, which they voiced in a letter to the Council.
** The Council have now announced that the closure of Aylesford lodge will go ahead in March 2015. COV sent a letter in response to this to the editors of local newspapers.Read the letter to newspaper editors here.
Almost 100 potentially “killer” electric blankets owned by older people in Coventry had to be destroyed following blanket testing sessions run by the City’s leading older people’s charity, Age UK Coventry, on October 6 and 7 (2014).
The free testing, at the charity’s Cathedral Lanes advice and information centre, was part of Age UK Coventry’s ongoing campaign to ensure that older residents of the city stay safe, as well as warm, this coming winter.
Age UK Coventry spokesperson Jayne Moore said, “The danger that older people face from damaged or faulty blankets is very real and accounts for some 5,000 fires in the home every year. At this time of year many older people get them out of their wardrobes and back on to their beds for the winter without having them checked to see whether they are faulty.
“Of the blankets we tested over the two-day session 53 percent were found to be dangerous, for many different reasons, and were immediately condemned by our electrical expert. However, we ensured that the owners would remain warm this winter by handing out a free replacement of the latest design.” A total of 171 blankets were brought into Cathedral Lanes for professional testing and 91were found to be dangerous and had to be scrapped.
The first open meeting of Coventry Older Voices took place on Tuesday 13th May, at the Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Lane, and attracted over 100 members. the meeting was opened by Anne Lakin, the organisation's chair, who introduced Councillor Alison Gingell, who spoke about changing attitudes to older people, and how they should be regarded as a resource, rather than a problem.
The main speaker was Councillor Susan Cooley from Manchester - the first Age Friendly City in the UK. Councillor Cooley recently won an Age UK award which recognises the achievements of a person who has championed the interests of older people in their community.
Councillor Cooley is the lead member for Valuing Older People (VOP) and the Age Friendly Manchester Programme. She described some of the benefits that becoming an Age Friendly City had brought to Manchester. You can read more about Age Friendly Cities here.
The organisers were keen to find out which particular issues are of concern to older people in Coventry, so after the public session, attendees formed small groups to identify these issues, and to discuss ways in which they might be tackled. The main areas that were considered were: transport, health and social care services, information and advice, and social participation.