Posted: 23/09/20 by Age UK Northamptonshire
Age UK Northamptonshire has reopened its day care in Kettering to help the county’s most vulnerable. The centre, based at Rockingham Road Baptist Church, Rockingham Rd, NN16 9JA, is open Monday – Friday to offer a lifeline to socially isolated and lonely older people.
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 have presented, especially to those aged over 70, Age UK Northamptonshire has continued to be a constant beacon of light to thousands of older people across the county. Even though the charity lost income during lockdown due to charity shop closures and the suspension of paid-for services, they adapted quickly to the needs of their client base. They have successfully supported older people during the pandemic by providing emergency grocery and medication deliveries, hot meals as well as extra help at the end of life.
Age UK Northamptonshire is delighted to have reopened shops and restarted many vital services with day care always at the top of their priority list. It was due to the demand from clients whose mental health and wellbeing had deteriorated significantly during lockdown, that the charity made plans to reopen day care as soon as was safe to do so.
The charity is working closely with Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council to ensure that all COVID-19 regulations are strictly adhered to and all clients are kept safe. Measures that have been implemented include clients having their temperature taken each day, either before getting on an Age UK Northants minibus or if they have taken their own transport, on arrival at the centre. Whilst in the centre, clients are kept 2m apart at all times. Clients have been put into bubbles of 6 so that the same groups of people are together. Age UK Northants staff wear masks at all times and have put in place a strict cleaning regime.
The Kettering centre is open 10:00 – 15:00, Monday to Friday welcoming 12 clients each day. With the additional safety measures in place, clients can enjoy a full programme of activity such as carpet bowls, floor dominos, skittles, arts and craft, bingo and music. A nutritious two-course lunch is provided as well as refreshments throughout the day. The price of transport, a full day of professional care, activities and lunch is £45 per person or £33 per person without transport.
Mark Morgan, day care manager, Age UK Northamptonshire said: “All the clients that have come back to day care are over the moon. We see them each morning coming in with smiles on their faces. The social contact, physical activity and mental stimulation have made a massive difference. We still have space in the centre so we’re encouraging people to get in touch and book a place.”
Day care is currently part-funded by the social wellbeing contract through Northamptonshire County Council’s Public Health. The contract is due to end in March 2021 and the charity are keen to see a commitment for funding to secure the future of this vital service.
Chris Duff, chief executive Age UK Northamptonshire said: “Providing face-to-face day care is, and has always been, a top priority because we know the huge impact it has on the health of older people. We are able to provide care which helps older people to avoid frequent GP visits and unplanned hospital admissions. During a global pandemic, keeping our older population well and reducing the strain on NHS services should be even more of a priority to councils and public health. With that in mind, we’re keen to see a financial commitment to keep our service running.”
To find out more information about Age UK Northamptonshire’s services, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.