The corona virus pandemic has changed the world as never seen before. It has meant that the Scottish Government has had to move quickly to put plans in place to ensure that those at risk who are being asked to self-isolate, are protected and not forgotten. The government has announced various funding opportunities to deal with the current situation.
These measures go against the discussion on dealing with the social isolation of older people in Scotland but saving lives has become the highest priority. The government has been looking at not only keeping in touch with those most at risk by making the most of digital technology but also in making sure that they are eating well.
I am a member of the Older People’s Strategic Action Forum set up to deliver the Scottish Government older people strategy, ‘A Fairer Scotland for Older People – A Framework for Action’ and pleased to have worked with the Scottish Government Age Equality, Older People policy team in providing over £110,000 in funding to eight community groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. These ethnic minority community groups across Scotland will support the older people in their communities. These groups have been working with local older people from their communities for many years, have established a trusted relationship with them and are aware of their needs. The groups which have been funded are based in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Inverness.
These community groups are delivering hot meals and necessary food items to the most at risk, who may be disabled and who may have long term health conditions. The staff and volunteers are in touch with them by phone to check on them and always have a chat to help stem the loneliness. These projects are critical in helping to look after older people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. This funding is helping hundreds of ethnic minority older people in Scotland.
Thanks to Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equality and Older People for believing in and delivering equality. It has been a pleasure working with the Minister and her team of officials.
Rohini Sharma Joshi
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager
Trust Housing Association