A new pilot service, supported by NHS Forth Valley and Falkirk Council, has been extended in Bo’ness to help support older people to remain well at home.
The service, which consists of a round-the-clock health and social care advice line known as ALFY (Advice Line For You), is now available to everyone aged 65 or over in the Bo’ness area, as well as family members and other people who may care for them.
When the service first launched in December 2014 it was targeted at people aged over 85 and older people with certain health conditions.
However, further analysis has shown that it could also benefit many of the 3000 people aged 65 and over living in the Bo’ness area. The dedicated phone line – 01324 567247 – is operated by experienced nurses who will listen to callers’ concerns and make sure they receive the right help and support.
This could range from offering general re-assurance and advice to signposting callers to relevant emergency social work, voluntary or local services.
They will even be able to book appointments to attend a rapid access frailty clinic for a specialist review or arrange for a nurse to visit day or night.
As part of the initiative, older people are also being encouraged to develop a personal care plan known as Your Plan and share this with their family and those people closest to them as well as health and care professionals.
Your Plan allows people to document all the important things that matter to them in relation to their health and care needs in the one place.
By sharing this information everyone will know what to do if a problem arises and what support could be given to help people maintain a ‘good life’.
Vicky Chisholm, community development nurse, NHS Forth Valley, said: “The feedback from some of the initial service users and their families has been very positive.
“We already know that it has helped many local people access additional services and support which have enabled them to remain at home rather than having to be admitted to hospital.”
Monthly education sessions will be held in the Salvation Army Hall, Corbiehall, Bo’ness, on a number of dates for anyone who would like to learn more about the service or to speak directly with health and care professionals.
The dates available are: Tuesday, April 21 and Tuesday, June 2 from 4.30 to 5.30pm and 6 to 7pm.
If you would like more information or a copy of Your Plan please go to the website nhsforthvalley.com/ALFY or call ALFY (Advice Line For You) on 01324-567247.