Befriending project supporting older people following discharge
A befriending service in Kincardine for Older People has managed to help over 20 people live independently.
A pilot funded by the Aberdeenshire Change Fund for a Befriending Hospital Project for two years has come to an end, reports Kincardineshire Observer.
The evaluation of this pilot has shown that the service reduced readmission to hospital and helped older people maintain their independence at home following their discharge.
Older patients in the hospital who were ready to be discharged but had small social networks and lacked the confidence needed to return home were matched to a volunteer befriender. The befriender would visit the patient regularly in hospital and then at home, whilst offering practical and emotional support.
GPs reported that the befriending service has made a positive contribution to the overall health and wellbeing of their patient and they have noticed a reduction in the number of medically unnecessary GP visits after the take up of the befriending service.
Angela Broad, Chair of Kincardine & Deeside Befriending said: “We are very fortunate to have fantastic volunteers with a variety of skills and experiences and an unfailing commitment to our cause of reducing loneliness and isolation in older people. We are pleased that Aberdeenshire’s new Health and Social Care Partnership is granting us funding to continue the project for at least another year.”
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