Appendix 3: Examples of delivery of formal and informal social supports – case studies

Examples of Community Assets arranged by the Local Area Coordination Team

  • A national older people’s charity run afternoon tea and chat sessions for people aged over 75 years who are at risk of social isolation. Due
    to an increase in the number of referrals from Local Area Co-ordination in East Dunbartonshire, the organisation worked jointly with the HSCP to establish two new sessions in the West locality of East Dunbartonshire.
  • A local third sector organisation who provide befriending opportunities for older people in the form of one to one, group or telephone sessions worked closely with the Local Area Co-ordinator to increase the volunteering opportunities and identified additional group sessions in areas where a higher proportion of befriending needs had been identified.
  • A new Men’s Shed in the West locality was officially opened in the summer of 2019. It took over a year for a dedicated group of men,
    alongside a member of the HSCP staff, to establish a formal committee and source a venue within the local area. The venue required
    significant refurbishment which was undertaken by both the members of the Shed alongside offers of support from local businesses and
    contractors. The Shed is now a warm, welcoming place for a number of men in the area offering a variety of activities, a chat and peer

Case Study – Informal Social Support

Mrs A is a lady in her 90s who lives alone at home. She is independent in all daily living activities, keeps in good health and remains relatively active. Mrs A does not receive any formal social carte support. However, Mrs A uses a walking stick and has difficulty managing and negotiating stairs and uneven surfaces resulting in her feeling less confident about walking outside without support.

Mrs A became socially isolated at home and did not have any family living locally who were able to visit on a regular basis.

The Local Area Co-ordinator for Older People introduced Mrs A to a number of different clubs and groups in her local community, negotiating transport and support from the volunteers who assisted in the clubs. The groups that Mrs A attended provided transport and volunteers were available to assist Mrs A in and out of the venues. Mrs A was also supported to link in with a volunteer at her local church who assisted her to attend the service on a weekly basis.

Mrs A describes the experience of being supported to access her local community clubs as “life changing”. Mrs A thoroughly enjoys the experience of
being out in her local community and meeting new friends. Mrs A’s family are encouraged that she is enjoying a better social life and that she is no longer isolated at home.

The OPLAC team received a letter from Mrs A thanking us for the effort and encouragement to support her accessing community assets. She describes
her experience as being "life changing" advising that, "her prayers had been answered". Mrs A is thoroughly enjoying the experience of being out within her community, she was able to meet new friends and catch up with the local gossip enjoying the chat and experience of being out of her home a few days per week. Mrs A was encouraged to remain independent living at home being supported by the third sector.

Formal Social Support – Case Study

Mrs B is an 85 year old lady living alone. In her 70s, Mrs B dedicated much of her time to her family, visiting her grandchildren on a daily basis, preparing
lunch for the school dinner break. Mrs B enjoyed this contact because was part of the family and the routine gave a good structure to her week. At the
weekends, Mrs B would often meet with her daughter and go for short walks and visit local restaurants and cafes. Mrs B also attended some local groups in the community including a music group and a club where she played cards with her peers.

When Mrs B was 81 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer which severely affected her mobility and she was no longer able to drive. Mrs B became
confined to the house and began to experience some level of confusion.

Mrs B became increasingly isolated at home, reliant on family support, which was limited due to work commitments. As an outcome of the social work
assessment, Mrs B began to attend the local Day Centre two days per week. However, following discussions with Mrs B, her family and the Day Centre it was agreed that the group setting at the Centre was not benefitting Mrs B.

The Social Worker met with Mrs B and her family to discuss her future aspirations. Mrs B wanted to be supported to take part in activities that she
participated in previously. Mrs B and her family compiled a list of different places she liked to visit including cafes, historical sights, local attractions,
streets and towns which were meaningful to her. Mrs B was assessed and allocated an individual budget. Mrs B chose a support provider organisation
who would provide a support worker to assist her to visit her chosen places. After each visit, a date was set for the following week to visit a different place and dates were placed on the list so that her family could see where she had been each week.

The support was extremely beneficial to Mrs B and allowed her to remain involved in her community and reduced social isolation. The supported was personalised and tailored to Mrs B and her memories. These were places that held significance for her. The support was used flexible so that if she
wished to visit a place further afield, rather than two visits per week, this was reduced to one longer visit.

Mrs B’s main carer, her daughter, stayed locally but continued to work fulltime. This reduced the pressure on Mrs B’s daughter significantly and also
met Mrs B’s social support needs. The support started when Mrs B was 82 years old and was provided for two years, until Mrs B unfortunately passed
away. Mrs B was able to access the social support she needed to live the life she would have wanted.