Good Health at BBC Panorama Village

22 July 2010

Elderly residents using an award winning Well-being Service at Birmingham's first-of-five retirement villages have experienced a 13.8% health improvement, just three months after the scheme has opened.

New Oscott health

Featured on BBC Panorama

The news comes as New Oscott Village (managed by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust in partnership with Midland Heart and Birmingham City Council) was featured on a BBC 1 Panorama report (26th July) examining national provision and policy in elderly care.

To see the programme on the BBC iPlayer, click here

Joan Bakewell examines the 'burden' of elder care, click here

For further information on the programme please click here

For the programme's Twitter page click here

To join a Linkedin Discussion Group about ExtraCare and the programe click here

For a Village fact file click here

The programme considers whether New Oscott's care and housing model offers a brighter alternative to the traditional residential home as national providers and policy makers struggle to deliver innovative care solutions. The programme also coincides with Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley's announcement that the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support will consider the best approach to achieving a sustainable care and support strategy for the UK's rapidly growing population of older people.

For a press release detailing the announcement click here

Vilage's Proactive Approach to Health

The New Oscott well-being improvements are shown amongst 34 new residents who took proactive measures to tackle individual health issues following a two-hour well-being assessment set up by The Extracare Charitable Trust. Ten health factors were measured ranging from blood pressure and cholesterol levels to diet, fitness and even psychological and spiritual well-being.

Diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis were common conditions found within the group. Incidents of depression and loneliness were also discovered, particularly amongst frailer residents who were living in isolated circumstances before moving to the village.

Working in conjunction with local GP services, the village fitness instructor, activities facilitator and individual care staff, ExtraCare's Well-being Advisor referred residents for treatment and to a number of motivational classes within the village. These included tailored gym sessions (measured to record each individual's 'effort rating'), a 'wake-up-warm-up' morning exercise routine and attendance at social activities such as choir singing, tai chi, reminiscence sessions and falls prevention classes.

The 13.8% improvements were shown when individuals' key health factors were reassessed after 8 to 12 weeks.

Well-being for All
New Oscott's Well-being Centre now receives 75-85 'drop-in' sessions per month and is extending the service across the village's growing community of 300-plus residents. Resident Well-being Ambassadors have been recruited to promote the service amongst village peers, in some cases helping to administer supervised blood pressure, height and weight checks. Later this year, older people in nearby Erdington and across the City will also be able to access New Oscott health checks and to share village facilities at an affordable cost.

The service was set up by the Charity to ensure access to all residents, in particular the 60% of villagers who receive benefits to support their housing and care costs.

ExtraCare's Chief Executive, Nick Abbey, comments: "ExtraCare is taking a proactive approach to housing and care by providing practical health advice, a range of facilities and numerous activities that gently encourage people to take greater responsibility for their future independence. Evidence already suggests that ExtraCare's Well-being Service reduces care dependency within the village and we believe there are savings for a hard-pressed public purse."
- Ends-

Media contact: Richard Tower at ExtraCare on 0772 055 3658.

- Further Information -
An ageing population: On 20th July 2010 Health Secretary Andrew Lansley commented: "By 2026, the number of 85 year olds is projected to double. In the next 20 years we estimate that 1.7 million more people will have a potential care need than today. We know that one in five 65 year olds today will need care costing more than £50,000, which could force many to sell family homes. The answer is clear - we must develop a funding system for adult care and support that offers choice, is fair, provides value for money and is sustainable for the public finances in the long term."

ExtraCare's Birmingham Villages: New Oscott Village (supported by Midland Heart and £5m funding from the Homes and Communities Agency) is the first of five proposed schemes across the City as part of a £200m village development partnership between Birmingham City Council and The ExtraCare Charitable Trust. The Village offers 260 homes for affordable rent, part-purchase and sale, surrounding a village centre which includes a fitness gym, restaurant/café, bar, shop, arts and crafts centre, village hall, I.T. suite, hairdressing salon, library, woodwork shop, Well-being Centre and greenhouse. Up to 24-hour support is delivered to a third of village residents by qualified ExtraCare staff in their own village homes. Purchase residents should never have to relinquish the purchase value of their village home to pay for their care. An on site welfare team ensures residents gets appropriate support with their housing and care costs and has found £240,000 in unclaimed benefits amongst new residents moving to the village. The Village runs an affordable 'Friends Club' and encourages community participation in activities and events.

For a Village fact file click here

ExtraCare Well-being Award: ExtraCare's Well-being Service won the Housing and Health Category at the 2009 UK Housing Awards.

Click here for further details of ExtraCare's Well-being service.

Birmingham Smile Appeal
Each of Birmingham's five villages will have its own health, leisure and social centre with up to 18 facilities. The Village Centres will provide enriching opportunities at an affordable cost for up to 350 residents and a further 350 older people in the wider community, many of whom may have little social contact and are frail with limited means. These facilities can only be provided through charitable funds raised by The ExtraCare Charitable Trust.

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust's £10m Birmingham Smile Appeal is to fund health and leisure facilities in each of the five villages. This is the Charity's largest appeal to date and will attract funds from business and the community.

Click here for the Smile Appeal web site

To find out more about the Smile Appeal, please contact: Elaine Clarke, Capital Appeal Manager, The ExtraCare Charitable Trust on M: 0772 055 3653, T: 01952 882557.