County council leader Louise Goldsmith has given an update on the latest council issues...
It has been a little while since I last wrote, but there has been quite a bit going on particularly around Adult Social Care.
At the full council meeting last month we launched two prevention schemes which we have developed with our NHS partners having received some one-off money from the Government.
The first is the Slipper Swap – new for old.
Now you may wonder what that has to do with prevention – well, the answer is, quite a bit. So many of us get attached to our slippers. They become old friends; cosy and comfortable.
What you may not know is that many accidents happen in the home due to those rather comfortable old friends.
With wear and tear, the soles of the slippers break down, as do the edges. This then becomes a real hazard as people can trip over and injure themselves, leading to an unwelcome stay in hospital and considerable time until full recovery.
So, exchanging those old slippers for a new pair means there’s less chance of having an accident. We hope many residents will take up the offer of new for old keeping everyone safer in their homes. You can find out more information about it www.westsussex.gov.uk/falls
Another initiative we announced at full council was the ‘balance test’ challenge. As we get older our balance deteriorates and that causes accidents, too. So we are promoting six daily exercises – the ‘super six’, aimed at improving balance. I have taken up the challenge and it only takes five to ten minutes – not a long time at all.
I also want to tell you about our Proud To Care campaign which we launched on February 25. This is also really important. Care workers are amazing people. They look after us when we need help most; when we are poorly and vulnerable.
For many people living on their own, their carer is a lifeline and perhaps the only person they see or talk to in a day. So we are raising the profile and encouraging more people to become care workers and to celebrate those who, day-in-day out, do a much-needed and important job for those who need care the most.
If you know someone who is thinking about a new career in care then get them to have a look at www.proudtocarewestsussex.com
This brings me on to one other bit of news.
When Gillian Keegan, the MP for Chichester, was first elected we had several meetings and at one of them I asked if she would consider setting up an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to look to professionalise the role of carers.
There are many carers who regularly undertake training but a more formal approach really needs to be set up which will help to raise the profile of the job.
So often I hear someone say ‘I am just a carer,’ well there is no ‘just’ about being a care worker. It is a very important job and one that really does have a major impact on the lives of the people being cared for.
This is what the APPG is all about and we will be helping and supporting Gillian’s group in every we can.