Age Space is very pleased to announce the launch of its Suffolk online hub – a one stop resource and guide for anyone concerned about or caring for an ageing parent or relative, neighbour or friend. Now more than ever, this new Suffolk hub will be an invaluable resource to families concerned about their elderly relatives during the COVID 19 self-isolation period. The hub has a dedicated Coronavirus page signposting people to the key support organisations in Suffolk and links to the national Age Space site for general health, wellbeing and technology advice.
Age Space Suffolk is designed to enable families make the best decisions by helping them navigate the complicated world of elderly care. The site is broken down into seven easy-to-navigate sections: Care, Dementia, Enjoying Life, Health & Wellbeing, Legal, Money & Finance and End of Life.
Users will find guidance on everything from how to make living at home easier to recognising that extra care is needed; how to find the best local resources, charities and organisations to help.
Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds based law firm Ashtons Legal have come on board as legal partner and will be providing specialist advice. Commenting on the launch,
Senior Associate within the Lifetime Planning Team and member of the Department’s Vulnerable Client Group,Janette Wand said ”by working in partnership with Age Space Suffolk we can guide people through what can be complicated decisions around funding and accessing care. We have supported Age Space Norfolk for the past two years and we are delighted to extend our partnership in Suffolk.”
1 in 9 people in Suffolk consider themselves to be a carer, a figure predicted to rise by 38% in the next 20 years. Significantly, a 2019 State of Suffolk Report revealed that over a third (36%) of carers don’t know where to look for support and information. Age Space understands this first-hand and founder Annabel James says:
“The Suffolk hub joins our family of eight regional websites across the country and is aimed at families who find themselves caring for an elderly relative for the first time. Quite often this can be the result of a sudden change in health and people simply don’t know where to start or what questions to ask.
We recognise that some of the best support comes from local charities, community groups and businesses and this is why we have created our network of local hubs. By bringing all the components of care together in one place, showcasing local organisations alongside expert advice, we hope to ease some of the emotional stress and strain of caring for an elderly relative.”
Age Space Suffolk signposts to some great local groups and initiatives in the county, including;
- ActivLives – Ipswich
Local independent charity, ActivLives aims to keep people active and connected in their communities through exercise and voluntary opportunities. Their ‘Falls Prevention’ initiative operates across the rural areas of Suffolk and is also helping to reduce social isolation.
- Music in Our Bones – Ipswich, Gt Blakenham, Felixstowe, Bury, Stowmarket and Oulton Broad.
Music in Our Bones is aimed at carers of individuals with physical and mental health issues such as stroke, dementia, or Parkinson’s. They have six different groups, all with one mission – to bring people together through song.
- The Bridge Project – Sudbury
This independent meal-delivery service has pledged to keep their seven-day-a-week delivery service running throughout these unprecedented times.
In response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, Age Space has created a dedicated COVID-19 section linking to the parent site agespace.org and have released a FREE downloadable guide, packed with practical help specific to the elderly and their families. There is also a Facebook group ‘Supporting Elderly Relatives at Risk of Coronavirus’ – for daily advice and peer to peer support.
Founder Annabel James says;
“Since the government advised anyone over the age of 70 to self-isolate, we have been inundated with questions from people worried about their elderly family members. The prospect of many weeks, and possibly months, of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic is causing enormous additional distress. This is particularly the case for those families that don’t live in the same area and are trying to navigate care and support at a distance. We hope this succinct guide offers families some practical help and advice during a period of information overload.”
The six-page guide can be downloaded here and includes:
- Useful websites, resources, FAQ’s
- How to support relatives at home – medication, money, shopping, local community support
- Keeping busy and connected – including a ‘Time Well Spent’ weekly planner
- Planning ahead – getting your affairs in order such as writing a Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Directives.
For further information contact Director of Communications, Marketing and Content Helen Burgess 07881 523 032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- 26% of Suffolk’s population (193,800) are over the age of 65 – ONS Suffolk Healthy Ageing Needs Assessment 2018.
- 2019 State of Suffolk Report revealed that of those over the age of 65 – 17,000 feel lonely and 19,000 are living in isolation.
- 7 million British adults aged 45 + currently care for elderly parents or relatives, set to increase by 20% in the next 15 years. (Age UK. 2017)
- The national site was launched in 2016 by Annabel James after her Mum had a stroke and spent many weeks in hospital. Annabel felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do for the best for both parents, what questions to ask or where to look for information. Annabel realised that there were lots of people at this “age and stage” who were juggling work and families, perhaps while living at distance from their parents.
- Alongside the national site there are 8 localised sites in Norfolk, Sussex, Dorset, Merseyside and Cheshire, Suffolk, Kent and Hampshire. Cambridgeshire, Essex and Surrey are due to go live before July 2020.