Appendix 4: Engagement Analysis

Engagement Methods

During the period 1st July to 31st October 2021, the HSCP undertook a period of engagement with our stakeholders.

Following a benchmarking exercise across Scotland, a survey was developed which focused on gathering views about future models of social support for older people in East Dunbartonshire.

The survey comprised of nine questions:

  1. In what capacity the person was participating in the survey i.e. service user, carer, etc.
  2. What principles and values were associated with the provision of social support for older people?
  3. What aspirations older people associated with receiving social support?
  4. What types of social support and activities can make a difference?
  5. What activities did older people miss during the pandemic period?
  6. What can community groups and clubs offer older people?
  7. What help should be given to community groups and clubs to assist them to continue to support older people?
  8. When do older people wish to attend social activities i.e. days, evenings, weekends?
  9. What should be the future vision for social support for older people?

The survey was available in a variety of formats: a web version, a paper version, via telephone interview or by participating in a virtual focus group.

An invitation to participate in the engagement process was sent to local community clubs and groups, churches, local village/town halls, current Social
Work customers in receipt of social support via day centres or alternative types of formal social support. The survey was also made available to all other key stakeholders including staff working within East Dunbartonshire HSCP.

The survey was advertised on the Council’s and HSCP’s social media pages so that any interested party could participate.

Social Work practitioners also invited customers and carers who, following assessment were eligible to receive formal social support, to participate in a
survey about what type of social support they had chosen and why.

The survey comprised of ten questions:

  1. In what capacity the person was participating in the survey i.e. service user or carer.
  2. What prompted the person to choose Day Centre support (if applicable).
  3. What prompted the person to choose Alternative to Day Centre support (if applicable)?
  4. Whether the person had attended any community groups in the past and what benefits they received from attending community led assets.
  5. Why the person felt that attending a local community group would not benefit them now.
  6. What was the person’s expectations from receiving formal social support?
  7. What activities the person likes participating in.
  8. Whether the person would attend a Centre or activities in the evenings or weekends.
  9. What the person thinks will be the impact of attending formal social support.
  10. What the carer thinks will be the impact on the person attending formal social support (if applicable).

This survey was carried out with customers and carers in person or via the telephone following the assessment process.

It was imperative that in order to develop a five year strategy which focused on developing models of both informal and formal social support that the HSCP provided an opportunity for as many stakeholders as possible to participate in the engagement process.

Reference was also made to the consultation survey that took place in 2020 by the Council’s Housing Department, in partnership with the HSCP. The ‘Older People and Specialist Housing Research’ was published in September 2020.

Feedback and Analysis

‘Social Support for Older People Survey’ – July to October 2021:
174 people participated in the ‘Social Support for Older People’ Survey:

Respondent Group Number of
Percentage of Total
Service Users 72 42%
Carers 38 22%
Family Members 29 17%
Community Clubs 3 1.5%
Members of Public 11 6%
Third Sector Practitioners 8 4.5%
Health Practitioners 3 1.5
Social Work Practitioners 7 4%
Other 3 1.5%

Social Support for Older People Survey graph - as above

The majority of respondents (78%) chose to complete paper copies of the survey whilst 22% opted to complete the web version. No one requested a
telephone interview. One person did nominate themselves to participate in an online focus group however this did not take place due to lack of nominations.

When asked “What principles and values were associated with the provision of social support for older people?” the majority of answers included:

  • Emotional, physical and mental wellbeing;
  • Support to maintain and promote independence;
  • Dignity, equality, respect, caring, honesty and diversity;
  • To give older people a safe place to enjoy the company of others and to help them engage in activities;
  • Keeping people safe;
  • Feeling included;
  • To receive culturally aware support.

Participants were asked “What aspirations older people associated with receiving social support?” The majority of answers included:

  • Meeting people from the local community and keeping connected;
  • Develop social skills and confidence;
  • To support mental, physical and emotional wellbeing;
  • Be creative and participate in activities that stimulate the mind and physical wellbeing;
  • Social interaction with peers;
  • Dignity, companionship and inclusiveness;
  • Make new friends and promote independence;
  • Opportunities for the local Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) community to meet

We asked participants what types of activities were of benefit when attending local community led clubs and groups. The answers were varied but in the
main included:

  • Activities the stimulated the mind and gave a sense of inclusiveness;
  • Singing, dancing and music;
  • Quizzes and games;
  • Light exercise and activities that stimulate physical wellbeing;
  • Eating a meal with other people;
  • Making new friends;
  • Chatting and reminiscing.

The respondents from the BAME community felt that there were no local community assets that met their cultural needs or allowed them to connect with
the community.

Participants were asked “What activities did older people miss during the pandemic period?” The majority of respondents all agreed that the following
aspects of social support were greatly missed for the last 18 months:

  • Social contact and company;
  • Seeing friends and family;
  • Eating with others;
  • Getting out in the local community;
  • Lack of mental, physical and emotional support.

Many respondents cited feeling lonely, depressed and anxious during the pandemic period.
We asked participants “What community groups and local clubs could offer older people”. The majority of respondents stated:

  • Social interaction;
  • A sense of belonging;
  • A sense of community;
  • Peer support;
  • Opportunities to make new friends;
  • A sense of purpose;
  • A structured programme of activities.

The majority of respondents from the BAME community felt that this question was not eligible to their circumstances and advised that, apart from the day
centre, there were no local community assets that met their cultural needs or allowed them to connect with the community.

We asked what “…would help local clubs and groups continue to offer support
to older people…” Most responded with:

  • Funding;
  • Staff support;
  • Increased Volunteers;
  • Transport;
  • Greater awareness of what is going on in the community;
  • Accessible accommodation and venues.

The BAME community respondents advised that the continuation of a day centre dedicated to their cultural needs was extremely important.

The HSCP wants to ensure that investment in and support for older people social support, both of an informal and formal nature, is delivered at times when older people and their families feel would be of most benefit. We asked participants when they would prefer that social support opportunities took place:

Days/Times Number of
Percentage of Total
Monday to Friday – Daytime 148 85%
Monday to Friday – Evenings 31 18%
Weekends – Daytime 56 32%
Weekends – Evenings 21 12%

Social support days and times graph - as above

Some additional suggestions were received:

  • Evenings and weekends on special occasions such as Christmas
  • Evenings during the summer months

We asked participants “What should East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s vision for older people’s social support be?” We provided
five suggested focus areas for the future of social support for older people over the next five years

  1. focus on supporting older people to remain connected to their community through opportunities to attend local community
    groups and clubs;
  2. Local community groups and clubs have access to volunteer support for older people who require practical assistance while
    in attendance;
  3. Local community groups and clubs have access to formal support for older people who require personal assistance while
    in attendance;
  4. An outreach support service for people who are eligible for formal support to support them to attend local community
  5. A day centre which focuses on supporting those older people who are most vulnerable/at risk.

Participants responded:

Options Number of Responses Percentage of Total Received
A 106 61%
B 54 34%
C 85 49%
D 64 37%
E 131 75%

Some other suggestions were received which included:

  • Supported referral pathways to local clubs and groups’
  • A person centred approach within local community led resources;
  • Different sessions at the Day Centre for people with advanced dementia

The BAME community respondents advised that:

  • The Day Centre is a unique service which provides a lifeline for its service users who are unable to communicate within other community groups or local clubs;
  • The HSCP requires to support the BAME community in respect of social support.

This means that the outcome of the engagement survey is that the HSCP should focus and fund the priorities relating to:

  1. A day centre which focuses on supporting those older people who are most vulnerable/at risk.
  2. A focus on supporting older people to remain connected to their community through opportunities to attend local community groups and clubs;

Social Support for Older People – New Customer – July to October 2021

Twelve people participated in the ‘new customer’ engagement survey, of which 80% was answered by the customer’s unpaid carer and/or legal representative.

All 12 new customers, eligible for formal social support, had chosen to attend a formal Day Centre rather than receive one to one alternative to day centre support. When asked why customers would prefer to attend a Day Centre type
setting most advised that the Centre provided a safe and secure venue, offering peer interaction with other older people. Many indicated that that they or the customer were no longer able to access the outdoors without support and that
the Centre provided a structure and routine to their week.

“…greatly benefit from social interaction within a group setting…”
…isolated due to mobility impairment and frailty…”
“…can no longer access outdoors…”
“…heard good things about the Day Centres and the services they provide…”
“…surrounded by peers to encourage stimulation and chat…”
“…social stimulation in a safe and secure environment…”

When people were asked whether they had attended community groups in the past and the benefits that they experienced from attending, most of the survey participants (95%) had previously attended community led assets and enjoyed meeting their friends.

“…my father attended various groups…”
“…my mother enjoyed attending various venues…”
“…she was a sociable person so this helped keep her active and involved in her community…”
“…a member of the local golf club…enjoyed the social aspects of being surrounded by friends and other golfers…”
“…attended a local resource…prior to COVID-19 lockdown…”
“…attended Centres prior to COVID-19…”
“…played golf and bridge…enjoyed the company and the competition…”

Survey participants were asked if they had previously attended community resources, why they felt that these assets were no longer suitable, 100% responded that they or the customer had seen a significant decline in their physical health, mobility and/or confusion caused by Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Many indicated that the provision of formal social support in a Centre setting would mean that they or the customer would receive support with their personal care and supervision whilst enjoying the company of other older people.

“…cognitive decline and poor mobility travelling outdoors…”
“…requires support with her personal care, mobility…requires to be cared for within a formal care setting…”
“…general health is very poor and there is a marked decline in her memory…”
“…little concept of danger and risk…”
“…requires a wheelchair when outdoors due to poor mobility…”

The survey then asked what their expectations were from attending a formal social support setting. The majority of participants stated that they or the customer would receive social stimulation with other older people in a safe and
secure environment, whilst some carers acknowledged that this would also provide them with a break from their caring role.

“…social stimulation and peer support to encourage chat and interaction in a safe environment…”
“…enjoy social chat amongst her peers reducing social isolation…”
“…will enjoy the company of others…share the same interests”
“…I will enjoy time away from my caring role…”
“…attending day care will reduce social isolation…”

When participants were asked what activities they or the customer liked taking part in there were a number of variations including: amateur dramatics, martial arts, reading, singing, dancing, chatting, listening to music, and quizzes.

When participants were asked whether they would attend a Centre or social activities in the evenings or at the weekends, 8% of those surveyed advised that they would not wish to attend Centres or activities outwith Monday to Friday daytime. While 92% of those surveyed were open to attending social support outwith daytime hours, 63% stated that they would not wish to attend in the evenings.

The customers, who would be attending the formal social support, were asked what the impact for them. Many responses cited no longer feeling socially isolated and having a better quality of life.

“…quality of life will improve….something to look forward to…”
“…enjoying social chat and activities in a safe environment…”
“…improve her social life and break up her week…”
“…bit more structure to the week…”
“…not feel so isolated…”

When unpaid carers were asked what the impact would be for them when the cared for person attends the social support activities, many responses talked about knowing the person was in a safe environment with people to support
them, whilst also providing the unpaid carer with a break from their caring role.

“…relax in the understanding that my father is being cared for within a safe environment…”
“…I can relax and not worry at work…”
“…give me piece of mind to know she was getting out as well as receiving the care she requires…”
“…time away from my caring role…”
“…receiving the socialisation and company that he misses so much…”
“…a break to recharge and have a bit of time for myself…”

Older People and Specialist Housing Research – Survey Results – September 2020

The survey of older people regarding their current and future housing needs also identified issues relating to social support and community capacity.

When older people were asked about potential problems with their current home, 6% of the respondents states that ‘not being close enough to local amenities’ was a serious issues, as was ‘not having good transport links’ (6%),
and ‘feeling isolated and lonely at home’ (5%).

42% of the older people responding to this survey, aged between 65 and 74 years old advised that their household included someone who had a health condition and/or long term disability. This percentage rose to 67% for the
respondents aged 75 years and over.

Participants were asked whether they needed any support or care to help them to live independently. 9% of older people who responded confirmed that they received care provided by family and/or friends, while 6.4% received support
from a care agency arranged via Housing, Health or Social Work. 1.4% of the respondents advised that they organise their support using a direct payment, and 1% arrange their support via a care agency, arranged by the respondent
themselves. 1.4% of the respondents stated that they felt they needed support but that it was not provided at that moment while 82.2% advised that they did not have any support needs.

When respondents were asked what the main reason was for not receiving support or care via Housing, Health or Social Work, 8.1% advised that they did not know what help was available and were unsure how to find out about
support services. Some of the older people who participate in the survey advised that they were considering moving out of their current home and when asked for the main reason leading to this decision, 2% stated that it was due to a lack of facilities nearby.

Participants were asked to consider what they felt were important facilities/amenities in respect of where they live, 29.8% stated that it was essential to have access to leisure services, and 19.8% of the respondents stated that it was essential to have communal areas and organised activities (sheltered housing).

When asked about what older people felt were the most important factors when considering where to live, 37% of the respondents felt that it was essential to be ‘part of a community’ and 34% stated that it was essential to have contact
with ‘people their own age’.