Care in the Community

Care in the Community

Care in the Community has changed considerably over the recent decades. While the range of available welfare and health services has grown, so likewise have our expectations of what we feel is “our due”. Meanwhile there has been a dramatic shift in the structure of the community, away from multi-generational family groups, where each family member looked after the other as required – grandparents minding grandchildren while parents worked, the children then looking after their parents as they grew older. Never has Care in the Community been such an important issue, and all the more so in rural communities such as our own, where many of the services we need may only be found in Fort William or Oban.

All of us will probably need help at some stage in our lives – not just as we grow older, but maybe because we have had a debilitating accident or illness, or because we have a child with special needs or because we have developed a mental health problem.

With older members of the community often living on their own, and individuals or family units trying to cope with any number of these problems, we have a collective responsibility as community members to “look out for each other”. 

There are however, inherent problems in this concept, not least that none of us want to be a bother to our friends and neighbours – of course, we would not feel the same awkwardness if the required help were available from a service. On the simplest level we might need someone to give us a lift to the shops or pick up a prescription, clean the house or provide a daily meal. Indeed, we might need respite from having to care full time for someone who is unable to do any of these things.

Whatever our problem, and however restricting it is on our lives, most of us want to stay in our own homes – which means trying to source the appropriate level of care in order for this to be possible. This can be a daunting task, which would be so much easier if we made it our business as a community to be aware of what is available and share that knowledge, identifying our needs and working together towards fulfilling them.

If you are aware of a Community Care problem, or have found a solution to one, please share your knowledge and experiences in the Chat and Discuss forum. Also remember our Community Council is there to represent our community and its needs, and a bold cry for help will be better heard than a whimper!

Click here for a list of some of the available care services. Our aim should be to steadily increase it to cover all our community’s needs. None of us know when we might need help, but the more effort we put collectively into our Community Care while we are fit and able, the more benefit we should get as individuals when we are not.

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