Published Date: 

7 Dec 2010 (All day)

Council care staff across the region are working flat out to make sure that all clients are regularly contacted and are receiving visits if necessary.

They are being ably assisted by family, friends and neighbours, who are looking out for people and are contacting social services with any concerns they may have.

Councillor Andrew Nisbet, Argyll and Bute’s social affairs spokesperson, said the weather conditions had presented significant challenges.

“Given the size of the area we cover, severe weather conditions such as those we have been experiencing recently make things very difficult not just for the elderly and other vulnerable people, but also for the people who care for them,” he added.

“Among those people are hundreds of our staff, who are working tirelessly to ensure that people continue to receive the help they need.

“I am regularly hearing how staff are going the extra mile to provide for our clients, and I am proud that they are managing to meet the significant challenges the weather and road conditions present.”

Many carers are having to abandon their cars on main routes and visit their clients on foot. In the few cases where it has not been possible to reach clients, they have all been contacted and all have been OK to miss a visit, or have family or neighbours attending to them.

In cases where a client who takes regular medication cannot be reached, home care staff have telephoned them at the appropriate time to prompt them to take the medication.

And if a carer can only visit a client once a day when they would normally do so twice, they have sometimes prepared an evening meal in advance, and followed this up with a phone call to ensure the client has enjoyed the meal and is safe and well.

In a number of cases, the council is working very closely with neighbours and clients’ families to ensure that people are being monitored and cared for.

Councillor Nisbet said there was no better time for people to come together and show their community spirit.

“I would urge local communities to look out for their neighbours and check on anyone who they have not seen for a couple of days,” he said.

“While we are doing everything we can to continue to provide services in what are very challenging weather conditions, we depend on good community bonds and good neighbours to support and assist some of our most vulnerable residents.

“Anyone who is worried about a friend or neighbour should get in touch with social services to alert them to their concerns. Similarly, if there are any clients who feel they are not receiving the help they need, please pick up the phone and let our staff know.

“Our teams will continue to work as hard as they can to ensure that our elderly residents and other vulnerable people are looked after in these severe weather conditions.”

Councillor Nisbet also paid tribute to the independent providers from whom the council commissions services, who he said were to be commended for the assistance they have given in making sure that all clients are kept safe.