Age Well

The good news that people are living longer creates new challenges such as managing dementia, loneliness, mobility and independence, personal finance, safety and wellbeing, all issues of concern, responsibility and cost to local authorities, as well as the NHS.

The new business strategy adopted in 2018 at SafeWise sees the charity’s learning villages and community facilities being used by far more than primary children, and covering many more issues than simply ‘safety’, hence the repositioning to ‘skills for life’.

Our plans include ‘Age Well’, which will ‘provide realistic and immersive learning experiences to equip older visitors with the skills, knowledge and confidence to live active, fulfilling and safer lives in stronger communities.’

We are seeking further support from local authorities and private providers. This will be a cost-effective investment with very positive outcomes for both visitors and supporting partners.

What is Age Well?

The SafeWise learning villages provide a unique and safe environment to provide an immersive, engaging and memorable learning experience for all audiences. With funding from Dorset Council, we are now developing a scheme which will provide a friendly and supportive social context for older people using learning village scenarios and community facilities to develop key ‘skills for life’ topics for this demographic, including: –

  • Staying active
  • Independence in the home including assistive technology
  • Falls prevention and home safety
  • Personal safety and security, including scams
  • Online safety and digital wellbeing
  • Diet, alongside kitchen safety
  • Budgeting
  • Mental wellbeing and staying in touch with others
  • Managing dementia
  • What to do in an emergency and finding help
  • Independent travel skills/confidence including road safety, public transport and mobility scooters

However the pilot study may highlight other topics which would be beneficial.

Discuss, decide and do

As with all our programmes, we will be employing our discuss, decide and do ethos with visitors, led by trained hosts, discussing the issues, making real in-context decisions, and, where possible, role playing and practising these in situ. This might include using the car or mobility scooter, getting on a bus, crossing the road, using the internet, locking up at night, using assistive technology in our house, managing memory loss etc.

The programme will be suitable for all 55+ audiences, but commissioning partners may wish to focus subsequent funding on key demographics, such as rural areas, those living alone, or other specifics.

Engagement with the private sector

SafeWise seeks support from the private sector to widen access to this innovative and potentially life-changing intervention during and after the pilot. Support might take the following forms:-

  1. Sponsorship – financial support for this programme. Benefits include 
    1. Communicating key messages directly to targeted audiences
    2. Positive, value for money PR
    3. Exposure within centres to a wide range of audiences
    4. Meet Corporate Social Responsibility requirements
    5. Volunteering, staff development and team building opportunities
    6. Use our centres and facilities at a discount or as part of a package
    7. Build your presence and awareness across the region with a high profile charity
  2. Commissioning of visits for your own audience such as potential decision makers on future care (older people themselves, or their adult children or carers)
    1. Build relationships with key audiences
    2. Raise awareness of key issues and future options
    3. CSR – build confidence and active living in your key demographic
    4. Enhance reputation with authorities
  3. Help in kind e.g. providing scenario enhancements, staff volunteering – practical, or professional such as marketing

Please refer to our Partnership Report for further details.

Living well for longer

Utilising the learning villages to promote independent living for older people on such a comprehensive set of topics can enhance the lives of not only older people but their families too. It will support local authority and NHS objectives especially around adult social care, and potentially save money by extending independence. It will be a valuable addition for private sector organisations seeking to do that little bit extra for clients when seeking their own commissioning.

What next?

To find out more, join a focus group, or just to register your interest in this project, email programmes@safewise.org or phone 01202 591330 and follow the options for the Programmes Team.