Thursday 11 July 2019, saw the official launch of the newest location for the innovative Southampton Living Well service.
Social Care in Action, a local charity working to support people to live independent lives across the south of England, has joined forces with Age UK Southampton to develop and run the service commissioned by Southampton City Council.
Following a campaign in the local area earlier this year for new premises we were delighted to welcome invited guests to Southampton Living Well Chamberlayne, based in Chamberlayne Leisure Centre, run by Active Nation, a fellow charity in Southampton.
Our guests included Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care and MP for Gosport, Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, Cllr Blatchford, Cllr Payne and Cllr Filker from Southampton, and Trustees and staff members from Social Care in Action, Age UK Southampton and members of local community organisations and groups.
Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care said: ‘“Living longer is something to be celebrated but as our population ages it’s vital we support people to remain healthy and happy. This is a key aim of our Ageing Society Grand Challenge, but can’t be achieved by government alone.
“This innovative partnership from Social Care in Action and Age UK is making this possible and I was touched to hear how much people like Valerie value it. Fun and flexible activities help people stay active and connected, tackling the loneliness that affects too many people in our society.”
Valerie, one of the people who regularly attends Southampton Living Well Chamberlayne also said: ‘I love every one of these people, I love the staff, this is my life. I love this place very much’.
Caroline Dinenage Minister of State for Care and other invited guests took the opportunity to take part in a range of innovative therapeutic activities that are offered as part of the support Southampton Living Well gives to older people in the city and those living with dementia.
Our physical activity session was a big hit, with games of tennis for some of our older people. We have great success here at Southampton Living Well in improving mobility and physical strength for those we support. We have recently seen a couple of people who previously used wheelchairs to get about able to walk increasingly longer distances without aid.
Intergenerational therapy, and music therapy have hit the headlines recently showing the improvements they can give to quality of life for people living with dementia. We have fully embraced this here in Southampton and regularly have children’s music groups attend our services.
Southampton Living Well launched in April 2018 as a new offer for older people in our city. Historically, support for older people has been via a traditional day centre model, with a number of centres across Southampton offering shelter, lunches and low key activities for the city’s older population. This new service offers innovative activity sessions and day trips with proven benefits to people living with dementia and other conditions associated with old age. The more holistic approach to supporting people in later life has the ultimate aim of increasing health and wellbeing and reducing loneliness and isolation.
We know that the older population across the city is growing rapidly, people are living for longer, with more complex health needs and less access to traditional models of family support and care. We know that by focusing on reducing loneliness, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and enjoying activities that are of interest to the individual, people are able to stay living independently in their communities for longer. Which is what people tell us they want.
Southampton Living Well brings together community organisations from across our city, working together to make life more meaningful and relevant to our older population. We have a range of activities and groups on offer, from day trips to local places of interest such as beaches and cafes, to intergenerational music sessions with local pre-school children. We also offer a range of exercise options to maintain health for as long as possible, from seated exercise for those with mobility problems to gentle trampolining for our more adventurous visitors, and a range of other activities in between.
Dan Freshwater, CEO of Social Care in Action said: ‘We are proud to have been at the forefront of this new service for the people of Southampton. Our ageing population, who are living longer and with more complex health needs than ever before, deserve to benefit from the latest research and therapies out there in order to maintain their chosen lifestyle. It is through the hard work and determination and experience of staff that we have been able to transform the day centre model to one offering proven therapies, activities and health support, keeping people in their communities.’
Peter Bennie, Chief Officer of Age UK Southampton said: ‘Over the past year we have seen many organisations come together across our city to focus on each individual and what best inspires and suits them. Our experience in listening to what older people want, and our connections across the city have allowed us to play a pivotal role in facilitating and delivering Southampton Living Well’.
If you are interested in finding out more about Southampton Living Well or coming along to find out for yourself please contact Matthew Gwynn on 023 8051 6021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org