I was delighted to join with Gordon Brown and Jayne Baxter to visit Sunnyside Court sheltered housing in Cowdenbeath to see the newly refurbished residents lounge and partake in a lovely buffet laid on by the residents.
Sheltered housing complexes can provide not just a safe environment but also someplace that older people can get together and socialise and have company. Sunnyside Court is a great example of this and the new care village being built in Lumphinnans will take this concept to the next stage where it will also provide a community facility for older people within the community.
The Christie Report which has been hailed by most including government as the vision for the future had a simple view which was that we have to move more of the focus on to preventative measures rather than simply reacting. In terms of older people and we are all getting older with the demographics showing an increasing older population, being able to socialise with others and keep active is key. Groups like lunch clubs and activity groups were some of the casualties of the cuts in social services budgets and this needs to be reviewed recognising if we are serious about preventative work then we need to put in place more activity and social support for older people.