Housing and health are closely linked and health related work has become a key part of what we in Care & Repair do, both to improve people’s overall health and to make them safer in their home by preventing accidents and potential hospital admission. Because we visit older people in their own homes, we have the ideal opportunity to discuss a range of healthy issues as well as their housing needs.
The Healthy @ Home Casework service is a partnership project, funded by the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund, which works with GP surgeries across Cardiff to offer the Care & Repair service to their patients on their 75th birthday. During the home visit to the client, we can offer a range of services that may be of interest to them now or in the future. Our aim is to support the client to stay safely living at home for longer, thus having a long term positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
We all know the saying: prevention is better than cure. Our service gives us access to older people who may benefit from our services and those of other organisations at an early stage to support them living independently and to prevent them from reaching a crisis situation in their home.
As well as discussing home repairs, maintenance and adaptations, we provide assistance with welfare benefits, home safety and fire safety checks and information on health and well being. If relevant, people are assessed for falls and referred back to their GP for a follow up appointment. Our project is unique in Cardiff and of real benefit and help to older people.
During our home visit, the Healthy @ Home Caseworker will listen to what the client wants and needs, will make suggestions and offer solutions to address these issues. By addressing the needs of clients, we undertake and organise a variety of direct interventions or make referrals to existing voluntary and statutory agencies to draw in and co-ordinate with other services as appropriate. Through partnership working with other voluntary and statutory agencies, we can provide the right assistance at the right time.
There is so much information available, much of which is, or seen by our clients as, complex. Many clients are not accessing schemes due to a misunderstanding of the referral process.
It is our experience that our clients still prefer a home visit where someone speaks to them face to face, someone who is willing to understand and discuss their needs. That someone is a Care & Repair Healthy @ Home caseworker.
Senior Caseworker, Care & Repair Cardiff