The aim of the Age Friendly Bristol work is to ensure that Bristol is a great city for everyone to grow old in and to create an accessible environment for this to be possible. This work fits under the World Health Organisation’s goals of creating age friendly cities all over the globe, and in Bristol we are focusing on 9 key areas. Further information about these 9 areas can be found on our website here.
2 of these 9 areas of focus are Transportation and Civic Participation and Employment. ‘Transportation’ which is looking into how to ensure older people in Bristol have access to transport and are confident in getting around the city and ‘Civic Participation and Employment’ which is partly focused on how older people can access the work and volunteering opportunities that they want to have.
The work that has taken place in Wellspring Healthy Living Centre is a great example of age friendly work that is taking place in these 2 key areas.
Wellspring’s social prescribing project was designed to reach those older people whose main social contacts were home visits from medical professionals. The Wellbeing Practitioner for Older People (WPOP) employed by the service was able to screen for substance misuse and arrange interventions where necessary, as well as supporting people to access social activities. They were also able to address social issues such as finances and housing which might be adversely affecting mental health.
Terry was referred to the service by a Community Matron. He found it difficult to get out of the house because of the breathing problems associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). When he leaves the house, he needs to take his oxygen tank with him. He lives with his wife, who is also his main carer, and Terry wanted to get out more so that he could give his wife a break. He was interested in lots of the activities available in his community, such as gentle exercise classes and singing groups, but could not attend as he didn’t have reliable transport. After visits from a Wellbeing Practitioner, he was able to achieve one of his aims and volunteer with St. Peter’s Hospice as the hospice was able to arrange transport.
Do you have an age friendly success story? If you are or know of an older person who has found a fulfilling opportunity to do volunteer work or found a solution to a transport issue, we’d like to hear about it! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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