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Eden Independent Living, (EIL) the one-stop-shop for support services launched by Eden Housing Association in the summer, has seen demand exceed expectation in its first quarter.
Recent changes to the way support services are funded enabled Eden Housing Association to work more closely with local organisations, offering a more complete package of support service. Providing one point of contact has appealed to families who are concerned about the welfare of their elderly or disabled relatives living in Eden. There were over 50 requests for service support in the first few weeks.
70% of the calls for the Eden Independent Living Service have come from home – proving the service is reaching the intended wider Eden audience.
The Eden Independent Living Advisors work with Eden Country Care, Eden Community Alarms and Riverside Careline to provide support. The Handy Person Service is also seeing a growing number of customers asking for repeat visits as confidence in the service grows.
Carolyn Greenhalgh, Assistant Director, Housing and Support at Eden Housing Association said “We are getting excellent reports from reassured families and people who have been helped by this new service. They are more confident and happier at home, but they still worry about DIY and home maintenance. Darren Wright from One Call is delivering our Handy Person Service, and he has become an instant hit with the people he has helped. We are delighted that our clients are happy with his professional manner and the quality of his work.”
Word of mouth and recommendations from support organisations has made Eden residents aware of the EIL services available. Audrey Ely from Age UK in Penrith told Mr and Mrs Ratcliffe about the Handy Peron Service. After a call to the EIL office, Darren visited their Penrith home to fix grab rails that made it easier and safer for Mr Ratcliffe to get upstairs.
Mrs Ratcliffe said “My husband loved doing his own DIY, but he is not well enough to do it anymore. Darren worked quickly and cleaned up very well. We felt very relaxed when he was in our home and have used the Handy Person Service again because we trust him to do a good job. The EIL team gave us a follow up call to check we were happy with the service which was very reassuring and we couldn’t fault the support they have given us.”
Darren Wright said “It feels like a weight has been lifted when we have sorted out clients maintenance issues. They like to feel they are still in control and don’t like to rely on family when small jobs need doing, but they often find it hard to find someone they can trust. It’s nice to be part of a team that offers a wide range of support for more vulnerable people in our community and as the service expands, I am hoping to be able to take on more staff to cope with the growing workload.”
Jenny Soulsby, Senior Independent Living Advisor said “When we set up Eden Independent Living we felt there was a real need for this type of support. Asking for help at an early stage can help prevent a future crisis and brings relief to families and friends. Working closely with Eden Country Care we are now providing a seamless service that responds with the right level of support and care. From the overall feedback we can already tell it is making a big difference.”
The Independent Living Team spend time in the community making people aware how more vulnerable residents in Eden can get support. In June the team also spoke at the Ageing Population Conference in York and other organisations are now watching developments with interest.
The early demand highlights there is a real need for a one-stop-support service link. Working with other LOCAL support organisations they are delivering the support and care services needed in Eden – and that can only be a good thing.
Anyone interested in finding out more about Eden Independent Living can visit www.edenindependentliving.org.uk or call the EIL team on 01768 861 468