Older people are 'stars' in Magna Housing association plan for Dorset

Dorset Echo: Magna’s independent living manager John Bloxham with resident Linda Riggs Magna’s independent living manager John Bloxham with resident Linda Riggs

OLDER people are becoming ‘stars’ in a Dorset housing provider’s new approach to supporting vulnerable tenants.

Magna Housing Association is pioneering a new system to improve its service for older people, calling it the Older Person’s Star.

The system will help users of Magna’s sheltered housing service decide what level of support they need.

Head of community support services, Karen Allan, said: “Things change when people get older. Sometimes people can’t do all the things they used to do and need help and ways to enjoy life.

“The Older Person’s Star helps our older residents and their support staff work together to enable them to live as independently as they can. The Star helps them to do this by looking at different parts of their life to see how things are going.

“The seven points of the ‘Star’ are staying as well as you can, keeping in touch, feeling positive, being treated with dignity, looking after yourself, feeling safe and managing money and personal administration. Some of our older residents don’t like to accept they need help but we’ve found the Star system has given our staff a really good structure around which to have a conversation.

“There will always be some residents who don’t want a support plan and we don’t insist on it. It’s their decision, and we respect that. However, we’ve found the Older Person’s Star gives them a better understanding of what support they might need and what is available.”

The Older Person’s Star is part of the Outcomes Star system.

Progress towards goals is plotted on a star chart so the client and support worker are able to track progress.

It was developed by Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise in collaboration with the Big Lottery Fund, charities, local authorities and NHS trusts.

Dorset County Council is funding the support contract for those of Magna’s older residents who receive housing benefit.

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