A new project has been launched to ensure that older people across the city are able to get the support they need. The First Contact Checklist is designed to enable the first organisation in contact with an older person to easily refer them on to other services from which they might benefit. This could include things such as getting advice on energy bills, a benefits entitlements check or a home and fire safety assessment.
The project brings together organisations such as Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Bristol Community Health and other local advice agencies and charities, including us here at the Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (CfD). The way it works is that if, for example, a firefighter visits to check an older person’s fire alarms, they might notice that they are having difficulty hearing. They can then contact the First Contact Checklist Coordinator to arrange a referral to CfD and we can provide advice and support on managing hearing loss.
The project is an initiative of Bristol Ageing Better as part of their work developing ways of identifying isolated and lonely older people. They ran a successful pilot project in summer 2016 and the project is now being delivered by the Care Forum, which coordinates checklist referrals across Bristol.
David Melling, CfD’s CEO said:
“We are really pleased to be part of this new project, which is a very practical way to ensure that older people find out more about the services available to them and get the support they need. Many people start to lose their hearing as they got older and become more socially isolated as a result and this project is a great way to raise awareness of the support we can provide.”