To receive and consider the attached report of the Director of Public Health outlining the refresh of the draft Age Friendly Strategy & Action Plan 2022-2025.
The report of the Director of Public Health presented the Outer North East Community Committee with the refresh of the draft Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan 2022-2025 to gain feedback. The report also requested support and promotion of the work of Age Friendly within the city.
The Deputy Director for Public Health, The Chief Executive for Leeds Older Peoples Forum (LOPF) and Deputy Executive Member for Adults and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships were in attendance to introduce the report.
The Community Committee were provided with the following points:
· Public Health are working with partners to support older people in Leeds to be as resilient as possible this winter. It was recognised that the cost-of-living crisis together with the impact that the cold weather can have on older people will require an approach to ensure proactive and preventative support is provided to those most at risk this winter
The Committee discussed the following:
· Workers and volunteers within the third sector that provide care for the elderly tend to be older people and thus younger people should be encouraged to engage.
· The report overstated the ongoing Covid risk which has the potential to cause more worry to the socially vulnerable. The risks related to all winter illnesses should be of equal importance and all relevant vaccines encouraged, although Members still noted that Covid is still prevalent.
· Inadequate public transport and accessibility issues experienced in the Outer North East wards pose doubt to many of the objectives referenced in the report. Many elderly residents in the area report being unconnected with central Leeds and amenities that will improve their health and wellbeing.
· A cohesive approach with the wider area will assist with the strategy as areas outside of Leeds City Council’s jurisdiction are relied upon by Outer North East residents for vital services.
· Many of the third sector and community services that cater for the elderly have struggled to recover service provision after the pandemic. Resource allocation through multiple streams, including Community Committee funding can be utilised for service recovery.
· The take up of pension credits entitlement was noted to be low, making it cost effective council resource spending to provide information to access these credits to benefit those in need.
· A conflict in the approach of the strategy by application to citizens from age 50 was noted, the stigma of who is old has changed over time. A meaningful approach should target those in higher age brackets as a fairer use of resources. It may be appropriate to breakdown the objectives for different age groups.
· In response to a question from Members it was confirmed a preventative focus, rather than treatment, was proposed by the strategy to enable better quality of aging and target wider heath determinants. The strategy was not about care provision, it is to link and supplement to health and care systems, although it was noted the NHS elderly focused strategies begin from age 65, whereas this strategy begins from 50.
· Digital underpinning may be intimidating to those less literate with technology; digital training should be signposted. Skills and infrastructure should be accessible to all ages and banks, prescriptions and buses shouldn’t be exclusively digital.
· The strategy should connect to vital health facilities and information for interim care after hospital was lacking in the report given the transport issues noted in the area, which may limit the ability for readmission to hospital.
· The proposals to improve employment opportunities for elderly people may pose some issues as positive employment discrimination, that favours someone by age, may be unlawful.
a. To note the content of the report and the refresh of the Age Friendly Strategy