An innovative approach to supported living for people, including the older group, is being pioneered in Scotland.

The initiative aims to meet the changing needs of society and the expectations of people who are fit and able to live in their own homes – but who value the peace of mind that comes from being able to access a wide range of professional support when they need it or want it.

Abbeyfield Scotland, the charity highly-regarded for its work supporting older people, has created Crandeen, a subsidiary which will offer a menu of services designed to complement independent living. The premium lifestyle company aims to ensure a quality and consistency of services, at the same time as giving users more say, choice, and flexibility in the way they are delivered.

Launching in Aberdeen, Crandeen plans to expand into Aberdeenshire and then other areas of Scotland. The company has already set down roots in the city, with Abbeyfield purchasing for lease to Crandeen five two-bedroom bungalows from home builder Dandara, at the developer’s award-winning Hazelwood development in the west end. Designed to offer residents easy access, space, and flexibility, rental comes with a choice of services provided by Crandeen.

In addition to the bungalows, Crandeen will be offering its home services package across the city, putting companionship at the heart of a solid relationship, services can also be delivered ranging from ‘light touch’ assistance with tasks such as gardening and shopping, through to the provision of personal care. Professional, experienced staff, selected for their reliability, personality, and natural compassion, will make giving their time an integral part of any service that is provided.

“We are experts in providing support in Scotland,” said Karen Barr, Crandeen’s director, “and we know that people prefer living in their own home, but with the option of having access
to support and companionship if they need it, or indeed if they simply want some company or a little extra help.

“Our companions will have the essential knowledge and experience, but critically, they will have time to become friends – to chat, to help and to advise. This will be a premium service which will provide unparalleled commitment, dedication and support to ensure that those who choose us can be assured of peace of mind as they live the lifestyles they chose, in the comfort and security of their own homes.”

Crandeen offers a future of innovative service provision which is based on choice and centred on time, compassion, and most importantly on companionship.

Built on a foundation of companionship, additional services include:
General counselling; Befriending; Social interactions; Gardening; Window cleaning; Shopping; Dog walking; Arranging access to meals; Enabling of cooking and serving; Assisting with security; Assisting with small repairs; Arranging repairs/maintenance; Cleaning; Welfare checks; Advising and assisting with domestic equipment; Assisting to engage with others (professionals, social); Arranging adaptations; Budget and debt management; Money advice and bene t claim; Assisting with relationships/ disputes; Resettlement and move-on; Telecare health/systems; Responding to alarms; Brokerage of other support services. / / 01224 925151

Abbeyfeld Scotland was born out of the organisation established in 1956 by Richard Carr-Gomm, the former Coldstream Guard whose wartime journey took him from the beaches of Normandy to the gates of the Belsen concentration camp. Twice injured by shrapnel, awarded the Croix de Guerre and a mention in dispatches, Carr-Gomm went on to dedicate his civilian life to another just war; the care of others, particularly those alone or simply lonely.

As Paul Eddy, the late Sunday Times journalist, wrote in Carr-Gorm’s obituary in 2008: “Carr-Gomm’s conversion began in the warm summer of 1953 when, returning from a posting to the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt, he travelled via Malta and Sicily to Naples, where he took the slow train the length of Italy.

“He travelled as a tramp, sleeping rough, eating scraps, drinking from public water taps, bathing in the sea – and once, without her knowledge, in Gracie Fields’ swimming pool in Capri – not just because he had little money, but ‘to see what it was like’. He discovered that the worst deprivation was the lack of human company. Because he looked like a tramp, he was treated like one, and never made welcome.”

In 1955, Carr-Gorm bought a house in London for £250 – paid for from the small gratuity he received on leaving the Guards – which with the help of volunteers he renovated, and then took in people who found themselves alone. It was an act of compassion which grew into a national and international network of accommodation and support, that now comprises 850 houses and 9,000 residents world- wide.

Today, Abbeyfeld Scotland offers a distinct model of affordable, supported, independent living for older people at 16 locations across the country. Last year, it won two accolades at the UK’s National Housing for Older People Awards. As well as continuing to invest in its existing housing and staff, Abbeyfield’s management recognised that demographics, and people’s needs and outlooks, were changing.

Now its mission is to be an “exemplar provider of care services to the marketplace and to those individuals who value their independence”. With Crandeen, Abbeyfield is building on solid foundations for future generations – a modern approach that stays true to its founding principles of compassion and companionship.

Why we need to prepare for an ageing population

According to in-depth research carried out for Abbeyfield Scotland, which looked at the existing model of housing and care, and the future needs and expectations of older people over the next five to 15 years, a series of principles became clear.

Part of this outlook is based on Scotland’s ageing population. Over the period 2001 to 2011, there has been a significant growth in the number of elderly people in Scotland. Nationally the largest increase (+22%) is in the 85+ years group, although both the 65+ years and 75+ years groups have also increased (+15% and +16%, respectively).

As well as an increase in average age in the last 10 to 15 years, the older population is set to grow even more over the next two decades.

A 17% national growth in household numbers is projected up to 2037 – from approximately 2.387m to 2.738m. However, in Scotland the population aged 60 years and over is projected to increase by 43% in the period up to 2037 from around 1.25m to 1.78m.

For all age groups 65 years and over there is a projected increase, however the largest proportionate increases are in the two oldest groups of 85-89 years (+109%) and 90 years and over (+234%).

The principles that can help sup- port this change include empowerment and choice, a balance between housing and care needs, the role of preventative support services, emerging technologies, partnership, self-directed funding, and how personal outcomes can be embedded in future product and service delivery.