People over the age of 60 in Norwich who would like a little extra help with housing issues or their benefits are being invited to use an advice service based in two GP surgeries.
Cotman Housing Association is running a pilot scheme called “Senior Support at the doctors” from both Lionwood Surgery and St Stephens Gate surgery. Trained advisors are running clinics that people can just ‘walk in’ and ask about, make an appointment or be referred by their GP or nurse.
The sort of things they can help with include housing, adaptations at home to make everyday living easier and safer, advice on getting help at home, benefits, care alarms and making new friends or finding new things to do for a fulfilling life. The overall aim is to help people keep independent at home and reduce loneliness.
Nicky Galwey-Woolston from the Cotman Housing Association said: “We find that some people don’t know what they don’t know and they struggle to manage without being aware of the help that is available. “We can empower people to make informed choices, help them find their way round complex systems such as benefits and housing options, and we also provide a range of social activities at our sheltered housing schemes that we can introduce people to.”
These include everything from lunch clubs to drama groups to exercise classes, or Cotman Housing can put them in touch with activities run by other organisations.
Cotman Housing has been running the advice service for three years but it has only recently opened clinics at Lionwood and St Stephens Gate surgeries in Norwich.
Many of the people who have used the service so far benefit from a little extra help and support following life-changing events such bereavement or diagnosis of serious illness.
The Practice Manager at St Stephens Gate surgery, James Foster, said: “This is a really great service, and another example I think of how partners in Norwich are forward thinking, to make sure we have services that local people can use, in the way they want to.”
Lyn Boston, Practice Manager at Lionwood surgery said: “You don’t need to be a patient at one of our surgeries, you can just pop in to one of the clinics. And any GP or other health and care professional are very welcome to tell the people they are looking after about the clinics.”
The clinics are running until August 31st 2017. People can phone 01603 731696 for an appointment, ask the GP receptionist for a referral or walk in:
St Stephens Gate clinic 9am-12noon Tuesdays
St Stephens Gate surgery is at 55 Wessex Street, Norwich NR2 2TJ
Lionwood clinic 9am-12noon Wednesdays
Lionwood Surgery is in Wellesley Avenue North, Norwich NR1 4NU