SCORES more elderly and vulnerable people will be looked after in their own homes at night thanks to a £300,000 cash injection to hire more carers.
Two more teams of council care workers are being recruited as part of a push to care for more people at home instead of in hospitals or care homes.
The cost has been met by a £300,000 cash injection from the Scottish Government and means that up to 120 visits will be made each night by council-employed carers, double the number from a year ago.
The caring service, which runs from 10pm to 7am, checks people are safe and well and helps with basic tasks such as visiting the toilet and turning in bed.
Sally Cameron, whose mother has been cared for by the teams for around three years, said it had been a boon for them both, giving her mother the opportunity to remain in her own home, and offering peace of mind for the rest of the family.
As well as helping out with routine tasks, the carers came to her mother’s aid when she had a fall during the night.
Ms Cameron said: “She decided to get up and go to the loo and she must have tripped over. She was in the sitting room and they found her on the floor when they came in and she’d fallen against something and bashed her face, though miraculously, she hadn’t broken anything.
“They phoned the ambulance. I’m sure they save a lot of people’s lives. If there wasn’t the night service, she would have been lying on the floor for six hours and would have got hypothermia, probably.”
She said the help of the team had enabled her mother to remain at home despite needing regular assistance: “Who wants to live in a home? Nobody does, and the longer you can stay in your own house the better it is for all concerned.”
City health leader Councillor Paul Edie, said greater life expectancy meant the number of elderly people needing care would continue to expand.
He added: “I am delighted that we are now able to boost the number of home care overnight teams in the city.
“Our social care workers provide a very valuable service. These extra numbers mean that more frail older people will benefit from their expertise in their own homes rather than being admitted to hospital or care homes.”
The council’s carers are arranged in teams of four, working in pairs on a “two-on, two-off” basis. There were originally three teams, but a fourth has now started work, and a fifth will begin in January, boosting staff from 12 to 20.
For information on how to get an assessment for personal or overnight care, phone Social Care Direct on 0131-200 2324.