More help on the way for Milngavie and Bearsden carers

A NEW scheme has been launched to build on the support given to the 13,000 carers in East Dunbartonshire.

The Joint Strategy for Carers aims to ensure that people who provide care for relatives in the area, estimated to be one in every eight people, are supported to manage their caring responsibilities with confidence and in good health, and to have a life of their own outside of caring.

Developed by East Dunbartonshire Council in partnership with carers, the Community Health Partnership and voluntary agencies including the local carer organisation, Carers Link, the strategy covers a wide range of existing areas of activity and improvement for carers.

This includes early identification of carers, developing more choice and flexibility of respite and short breaks, and delivering information and training to carers.

It also includes priorities for promoting options for the uptake of Self Directed Support, new smart technology solutions and joint assessment tools and processes including self-assessment.

The smart technology involves remote sensors, linked to a community alarm unit, that can independently detect and automatically request assistance from the council’s Emergency Response Centre in urgent or crisis situations.

Councillor Michael O’Donnell, convener of East Dunbartonshire’s social work committee, said: “Our more vulnerable citizens, their families and carers already benefit from effective care and support services.

“This strategy builds on the good work already taking place and incorporates the latest needs and priorities of carers which were identified following a consultation we carried out last summer.

“It also highlights the use of new technology which can improve safety and help people to stay independent and healthy in their own home for longer by providing continuous and automatic monitoring of their lifestyle changes.

“As one person in every eight in the area is a carer and three out of five people will become a carer at some point in their lives, this strategy is vitally important and will affect nearly everyone that lives in East Dunbartonshire.”