Plans take shape for hub dedicated to helping elderly

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A HUB ensuring that the basic needs of elderly and vulnerable people are met could be launched in the city.

It would ensure anyone with concerns about a person’s welfare could contact one place focused on making sure they’re safe and have got access to what they need.

The scheme would be a collaborative effort by support organisations – such as Age UK – which already work with vulnerable and elderly residents.

Staff manning the hub could be a mix of volunteers and council staff. Its aim would be to solve confusion over who is best to contact when there is a problem.

Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt has proposed the idea and has had a meeting with the Big Lottery Fund about the possibility of money being contributed towards the project.

‘We’re still in the early stages,’ she said.

‘But it’s time that we give older people’s services some real focus and start meeting the need out there.

‘For example, with regards to dementia, a lot of people out there have it and need access to services.

‘We really need to start focusing on sorting that. It’s a way of bringing all services together.

‘It’s about bringing data together and giving people the most appropriate service so that there isn’t anyone in the city who is lonely, isolated, not getting a reasonable income and not having access to bathing facilities.’

The idea came about from a campaign Ms Mordaunt has launched nationally called End to Loneliness that finds ways of helping elderly people in communities around the country.

Ms Mordaunt said an example of the hub being used would be if a shop cashier hadn’t seen a regular elderly customer coming in for some time.

They could then call the hub through a dedicated hotline, and the team working that day would then do its best to find out if the pensioner was all right.

Key things the hub could look at are ensuring pensioners have a social life, a proper wash and access to the right health care.

The next stage in the plans is for a draft proposal to be produced of what definitive form the hub should take.

Applications for funding would then need to be submitted through organisations such as Age UK in order for it to work.