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bo’ness and Blackness families could be recruited to offer short breaks in their homes to older people, under draft measures to reshape care for the elderly.

A new adult placement model being mooted, ‘Falkirk Shared Lives Service’, would enable respite support for unpaid carers.

It’s just one proposal in the draft Falkirk Partnership Change Plan, rubberstamped by Falkirk Council’s policy and resources committee last week.

The draft plan - with Scottish Government funds of £1.885m for 2011/12 - had earlier been backed by the housing and social care services committee.

NHS Forth Valley, plus the voluntary and independent sector, make up the partnership, and detailed plans will go before the Scottish Government by June.

The £1.885m partnership cash is Falkirk’s share of a £70m ‘Change Fund’ supporting local delivery of the ‘Reshaping Care for Older People’ programme.

This aims to redesign services shifting the emphasis of older people’s care towards home or community settings rather than hospitals.

By 2016 there’ll be a 15 per cent increase in those aged 65 and over in the Falkirk area.

Shared Lives Carers would offer a personalised and flexible service, boosting health and promoting citizenship.

As well as a provisional £100,000 for carers’ support from the £1.885m pot, the draft plan includes:

n£386,000 for reablement at home for those with long-term conditions and/or frequent fallers sustaining injuries that don’t need hospital admission.

n£300,000 to introduce four/five short-term residential places in a care home to support those discharged from hospital, but still unable to return home.

n£300,000 for innovative project bids of up to £50,000, on themes like advocacy and income maximisation.

Falkirk Council says the draft plans would help cut down on avoidable hospital admissions.