Published alongside the government’s strategy on ageing, ‘Working Together for Older People in Rural Areas’ is the final report of a joint project between the Social Exclusion Task Force and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This report examines evidence on the social exclusion experienced by older people in rural areas and identifies examples of innovative service delivery that can make a real difference in these areas. As a result of this study, a number of key practical policy actions have been integrated into the government’s Ageing Strategy ‘Building a Society for all Ages’ [External website].
Video Introduction to the Working Together for Older People in Rural Areas with Naomi Eisenstadt, Director, Social Exclusion Task Force (2 minutes)
Working Together for Older People in Rural Areas has been informed by innovative analysis. This includes:
We will continue to deliver the agenda set out in Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods including:
We will launch a ‘Life Planner’ that will support individuals in planning ahead for later life. This will provide advice and information about financial planning for retirement and links to other services, including the NHS Mid-life LifeCheck, FirstStop (a care and housing advice service), and information about what to consider when thinking about moving home or area, including to the country.
We will support drivers as they get older. The ‘driving for life’ package will establish standards for schemes to offer self-review, self-assessment and, where appropriate, encourage refresher training from specifically qualified driver trainers. We will also increase the provision of mobility services to provide advice and support to older drivers around adaptations and driving safely in later life.
We will develop a resource guide later this year to support areas in designing transport solutions that promote the well-being of people in later life including, among other things, raising awareness of different transport options, particularly for people living in rural areas. These options include community bus services that are available on request rather than to a set timetable or route
We will build on and complement the work to address digital inclusion by providing mentoring and support to assist socially excluded older people to benefit from the opportunities of technology. This will involve young people helping older people to get the most out of new technology. The projects will initially directly target 21,000 people but will build on this with the aim to reach the 600,000 people who live in sheltered housing, in the vicinity of sheltered housing schemes or other possible community hubs like village halls in rural areas.
We are introducing a ‘keeping well in later life’ programme of health prevention measures that will bring together information on existing ‘entitlements’; advise people in later life about how to access help with falls, foot care, and other preventative services; as well as address other conditions that impact on the quality of people’s later lives, including continence care, depression and arthritis.