Project information

Older Carers Project

Our project supports elderly carers (65+) in Harrow to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, and coping skills, so that they continue to care and live independently. How? by building on 20 years of experience in personalised casework and advice across specialisms eg: welfare, Cancer care

2 years

Charity information: Harrow Carers

Harrow Carers logo
  • Need

    Need

    There are 4,500 older carers living in Harrow aged 65 and over, that are mainly caring for someone with physical disabilities (48%) followed by mental health issues (33%). The problem they face is the strain caring can have financially, emotionally and their own health, which often leads to isolation, rehospitalisation. A carers ability to cope can vary depending on the disability/condition (we specialise in cancer and dementia) and their journey eg managing end-of-life.

    Solution

    The project tackles problems through timely information, 1:1 advice and support. We are sensitive to the mobility of older carers and so provide access and referrals at our Centre, partners such as Macmillan and AgeUK, local hospitals and GP practices. After an assessment of their needs, we strive to improve older carers ability to cope and enjoy life through learning courses, complementary therapies and wellbeing workshops. Popular example is our 6 week ‘Caring For Dementia Carers’ course.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Older carers will have improved confidence and be better informed and supported to provide care

    Activities

    » Assessment for each older carer and ongoing relationship to meet their needs via home-visits and in community. Produce friendly materials & workshops.

    Improvements are measured by self-assessments and data to track their confidence and knowledge in managing their caring role. Decrease in rehospitalisation.


    Aim 2

    Older Carers will get a break and be energised by activities

    Activities

    » Social activities throughout the year with respite and travel arranged, for a varied and enriching experience such as Language class to Canal Boat Day

    Casework and monitoring will map the individual journey to maintain their independence and sustain the caring role. Let their voices shape our services.


  • Impact

    Impact

    By offering 1:1 support across more specialisms in response to local needs such as dementia and cancer-carers, we believe the older carers department will be able to serve up to 2,500 carers aged over 65. This is vital given the NHS forecasts that the pressures and number of carers in this age range are set to increase year-on-year. Working within a uniquely diverse borough, the long term benefit of an active and skilled carer group is a stronger community with positive identification.

    Risk

    Working in a bespoke and often intensive manner with each carer, means we may not have enough resources to be able to deal as effectively as we would like to with each need identified. For example, two Home Visit Workers having to help majority of older carers with their benefits entitlement. To reduce these risks without turning older carers away, we are lucky to have a network of carers that are determined to help each other as seen by the number of self-help groups that meet in our Centre.

    Reporting

    Donors from The Big Give can expect to receive a thank you on our website unless they wish to remain anonymous, and following that, a report after 3 months which details how the money was spent on direct project costs. Any donations over £30 to be posted a Bulletin highlighting older carer stories.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £9,500

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,000 Home-Visits One more full-day every week to reach out to the most vulnerable older carers
      £3,000 Hospital Discharge Officer A permanent presence in the hospital to communicate the concerns of older carers, and re-able them.
      £3,500 Social Activities Mental and Physical Stimulation for older carers and respite cover for their loved-one

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Major Donor (anon) £2,000 Guaranteed
    Major Donor (anon) £1,000 Conditional
  • Background

    Location

    The London borough of Harrow and the surrounding areas is in the North West region of the capital. Our Carers Centre is a hub of activity, with our two meeting rooms in constant use for get-togethers that range from coffee mornings to Learn Spanish class!

    Interestingly, the area has pockets of some of the worst degradation in the country and this means equal access to services and opportunities is difficult. It is more of a challenge, because of the mix of cultures, religions and languages.

    Beneficiaries

    One day, our goal is to be able to serve the entire carer population that grows year-on-year, and make every effort to identify "hidden" carers of all ages. This starts with promoting just how special carers are and the enormous economic contribution they make by volunteering their own time and saving the NHS.

    Carers aged over 65 have "high needs," but are also some of the most resilient people in the community! Trends show that there are expected to be 7,000 older carers by 2020.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    1. Framework of services are in place: We already work with the many partners it takes to succeed in a project like this due to shared expertise (EG Macmillan and St Luke's Hospice) and achieving a wider signposting and reciprocal referral system.

    2. Harrow Carers reputation and accreditation: We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, but have the flexibility and local knowledge by remaining an independent charity.

    3. We have a Sustainability Plan to continue the project for many years!

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Bunny Gaughan

    Case-work and Home-Visits

    Anne Hession

    Case-work and Home-Visits

    Lee Bogle

    Counselling Coordinator

    Sharon Pienarosa

    Manager