Older age presents both opportunities and challenges. There is appreciation that we are able to access our GPs quickly and effectively. For some of the community, access to GPs on a 24/7 basis which happened in the past is still what would be sought. Same day and next day appointments are the norm. Where there is a medical emergency or complexity that cannot be safely dealt with on island individuals can be airlifted to the mainland. We have a care home and a local hospital. The challenge here is that bed blocking in hospital may mean that a new patient who could remain in the community has to go to the mainland because there is no available bed here. The care home grapples with recruiting and retaining staff which can result in capping of available beds there too to ensure resident safety. That said, those who are growing older in the community more generally have a number of resources that they can draw on to promote their health and wellbeing. Beyond the kindness and community spirit that is readily offered, there is support to carers through Dochas and a stream of clubs that are highly valued including the aptly named Strollers and Chit Chat to numerous lunch clubs and the provision of a variety of food bank/ community fridges. The Islay Link Club is another local charity that provides support for those with disabilities. A fear that is expressed regularly is having to leave the island because needs have reached a point where they cannot be safely met here. This may apply to those who have had strokes but also to those who have advanced dementia. Those who live here very much wish to die here if at all possible. End of life care is recognised by many to be personalised and of a high quality. Our history means that funerals reflect respect and dignity. Bereavement is addressed to a degree but much remains to be offered to enable individuals to adjust to their loss.
People's human rights need to be respected. They don't want to be moved into a home so far away from friend and family that they will never be visited. They want to live locally within their communities. Their needs satisfaction need to be measured and respected and fulfilled.
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This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation