And, as Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas found from leafing through the guide, there is much of interest for carers and Gosport’s seniors …
FAREHAM Borough Council has published an updated directory of useful contacts to help older people stay healthy, independent, social and active.
The Wise Guide – formerly ‘The Billy Book’ – is for all senior citizens and carers though the introduction emphasizes: “Loneliness and social isolation can be a problem for some older people, so The Wise Guide has been produced to help them to remain active and engaged in their community and reduce isolation and loneliness.”
Hampshire County Council estimates that nearly a quarter of Fareham borough’s population are aged 65 or over and the council states it has, “experienced the largest rise of residents aged over 85 across Hampshire in the last 20 years.”
Not just of interest to Fareham’s older residents
Add in paid and unpaid carers of older people plus – because many of the organisations listed in the directory operate beyond Fareham borough’s boundaries – the 20 per cent of Gosport’s population aged 65 and over, and the publication has a significant number of potential users.
It is called a ‘guide’ but the format is more that of a directory with addresses and contact telephone numbers – and in many cases websites and contact email addresses – together with a short description of what each organisation offers.
There are sections for:
- Important organisations – Citizens Advice Fareham, the police, NHS, etc.
- Money, Benefits & Help with finances
- Health, Wellbeing & Support
- Lunch Clubs
- Final Arrangements
‘share it with friends, family and neighbours’
As well as being available online, hard copies of The Wise Guide can be collected from Fareham Libraries, the Fareham Shopmobility office on the ground floor of the Osborn Road multistorey car park, or at the One Community shop in Fareham Shopping Centre.
Hard copies are also going to be delivered to the council’s sheltered housing residents.
The borough council’s Executive Member for Leisure and Community, Councillor Sue Walker, stressed that the guide is not just for older residents and she is urging others to, “pick up or print a copy and share the details with friends, family and neighbours who may find it useful.”
Image (top): Wise Guide front cover. Reproduced with permission