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Almost two thirds of patients admitted to hospital are older people and 25% are over 85 years of age. In addition, many older people have no family or carers to accompany them or visit if admitted with those who do often having an elderly spouse.
The monies raised through the Silver Birch Fund help purchase little extras that make the stay for older people in the hospital a little easier. This includes things such as skype enabled laptops, tablets, games and additional clothing along with larger pieces of medical equipment.
The Silver Birch Fund received a cheque for £500 from Bluebird Care on 12th August 2016 in recognition for the valuable work the group does in providing a number of services for elderly people including befriending, gardening and a community transport service.
In addition to the work the Silver Birch Fund does to make a stay in hospital more comfortable, their work helps to combat loneliness amongst older people. Given that research suggests 36% of older people speak to five people per week each, this makes a big difference.
Angela Brown, Dementia Specialist Practitioner at Darent Valley Hospital said:
‘We would like to thank Bluebird Care for the £500 which will be going towards our campaign to end adult loneliness. It will be used by our Caring Companion Scheme which provides comfort and company to elderly patients in the A&E areas.
"The companions assist by sitting with an elderly patient who is alone with no family or friends to accompany them. They offer reassurance, kindness and social interaction to help the patient feel less isolated and vulnerable.
"Often it is just the simple things, like having somebody to talk too, the holding of a hand or the offer of a drink."
Since Bluebird Care Gravesham & Dartford opened in 2011, it has been working hard to support other organisations across Gravesend and Dartford, as well as providing a daily care service to local residents.
About the Bluebird Care Community Grant, Tanya Rhodes, Care Manager at Bluebird Care Gravesham & Dartford, said:
"The work that Valley Hospital Fund do is fantastic and it is because of the challenge that we know older people can face when admitted to hospital we chose this nomination for our grant.
"I am delighted that we have been able to present this award to such a worthwhile cause."
Bluebird Care offers a realistic alternative to residential care by allowing people to stay in their own homes with care and support. Their work can involve one or more short visits a day in order to help with the everyday tasks of life. However, their service doesn’t stop there because longer duration visits are also available, including overnight help and live in care.
For further information about Bluebird Care Gravesham & Dartford’s homecare services or to apply for the next grant, to be awarded in October, please contact their team or visit their website.