A BLACKPOOL business is launching its pilot scheme for a new community service which offers the elderly care with their meals.
The Peace of Mind initiative from the ICare Group, based at the Kincraig Business Park, offers varying levels of home support through community assistants for those who need it, along with hot meals as a way of bringing both services together in one place.
There are around 17,500 people over the age of 65 and 11,000 over 75 living in Lancashire, a figure which is predicted to rise to more than 15,000 by 2020.
Stephen Emmanuel, chairman of the ICare Group, said: “This gives the elderly in Blackpool and across Lancashire more independence and choice of further support where it may be relevant.
“The care is on a level of help and support where community assistants not only deliver their meals but help with small jobs, provide reassurance and can alert other services where appropriate.
“This means that the elderly who are feeling vulnerable know they can receive a meal with a care visit cost-effectively.
“It may even mean that a problem can be recognised early rather than them having to spend time in hospital.
“We are a community service after all and we have wanted to offer this for some time.
“This not only supports the elderly to stay in their own home, but also provides an early observation and support service for our challenged health and social care sector. We have chosen Lancashire as a trial in the UK.”
He said that for relatives or others who know someone who would benefit from support, the service comes at minimal cost and can also include a home safety check, all run from ICare’s site at Matrix Business Park, Chorley.
Mr Emmanuel added: “Increasing numbers of elderly people are found to be vulnerable, and just a visit each day or every other day may help them.
“Many of our staff carry out jobs which are way above the call of duty but they do it anyway.
“This additional support was highlighted during the recent period of snow when we were possibly the only organisation visiting some of the elderly in the community. We want to create something new here which works within the communities as an added service of reassurance.”
He added that all ICare meals meet the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) guidelines. In addition, ICare offers a wide choice and large variety of meals to suit dietary needs such as diabetic, vegetarian, low salt, low fat, soft meals, pureed meals.
Included in the range are Asian Halal, Asian Vegetarian, Caribbean and Kosher meals.