Here, we introduce one of our key partners, Age UK Norwich, and focus on its dedication to making later life the best it can be.
Age UK Norwich can provide an invaluable service to people who are finding looking after an older parent or relative new and daunting. They listen, support, advise and help you or your family stay independent, active and healthy. Regular contact and services from Age UK Norwich can be life-changing and give older people the confidence they need to feel more connected and less isolated. They do this through their advice and welfare support services, activity groups and clubs, befriending schemes and dementia day care centre.
Information and advice is one of their core services, with countless people visiting the London Street centre to browse information, talk to trained staff and volunteers and receive one-to-one advice sessions on a range of issues, including financial worries, social care, energy bills and legal advice.
The Welfare Rights team can help older people claim the benefits and allowances they are entitled to get, so they can stay warm, get out, eat well and participate in community life.
Moreover, Age UK Norwich also offers a befriending service; a number of social activities (including one-to-one volunteer led IT courses, Walk in the Park guided walks, and intergenerational activities with schools); carer support; a Promoting Independence support service, which helps older people to live happier and more active lives, no matter the health challenges.
Their day care and dementia work includes a day care for people aged 65+, primarily for those living with dementia and support for families and carers. The centre can be crucial in helping people staying living at their own home for as long as possible. Plus the local organisation publishes a monthly newsletter, called Citywide, which can also be downloaded from the website.
Jo Willingham is the Information and Advice Manager at the Age UK Norwich offices, also based in London Street. She says: ‘We start working with clients aged 50 plus, but would also give advice to younger people in respect of an older person within their family, so that doesn’t rule out working with people before they reach 50.’ Jo explains further: ‘A lot of children and grandchildren come in, having already spotted issues further down the line – perhaps they talked to their mum or dad, or grandma or grandad, about certain things and then have wanted to get a few steps ahead by finding out what help is available.’
And she makes this important point: ‘The role of a carer can be very subtle – a lot of people don’t even realise they are the carer, just because they are not doing it full time. But a carer can make such a difference, even if they are just taking someone out once a week, to a shop. There are all sorts of shades of caring.’ Jo concludes: ‘From the very beginning, we can give information and advice to a concerned member of the family. And we got lots of Age UK Norwich leaflets so would be able to point them in the right direction.’
Age Space is delighted to be partnering with Age UK Norwich. Over the coming weeks and months we’ll be adding news and information to this site using their expertise.