Clocks going back, winter approaches, energy bills out of control, NHS in crisis and once again elderly residents find themselves worrying about their future.
I was very impressed with what I experienced during Silver Sunday recently where the number of organisations and volunteers that take it upon themselves to look out for their elderly neighbours was overwhelming. Speaking to a group of young people at the Link in Thamesmead convinced me that there is a sense of community developing that does exist and was particularly shining through on that occasion.
Winter pressures places the public sector in a difficult position. Hospital Social Workers provides an excellent service in support older people getting back to their homes after a hospital spell. This year the pressure will be even greater as Government funding has gone to Acute Services while the Council budgets have been reduced. Clearly the greater need is in the community.
Adopting increased levels of community support is needed more than ever. Older people remain at risk and will need increasing levels of support. I suspect our community spirit will shine through this year as it has done in the past. The Carers Centre, Age UK, local volunteers and others are playing an increasing role .
Let’s make sure that during this winter period we can keep an eye on our elderly neighbours and help where we can. Sometimes, as I discovered recently, they are far too independent and not wishing to be any trouble. On the contrary, our support is what makes the Borough a very special one.