Vulnerable residents get online assistance

CARE managers in York are turning to the internet to allow the elderly and disabled people to assess their own needs and help to counter the soaring demand for services.

A project has been launched by York Council to allow vulnerable residents as well as their relatives and carers to have a greater input into the care services provided across the city.

The online scheme is hoping to streamline the assessment of care provision as demand for services increases dramatically while public sector funding is being hacked back.

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The council is already overseeing a wide-ranging efficiency drive, dubbed the More for York programme, which aims to cut 15m from expenditure over a three-year period.

The internet service, which is available at www.equip-yourself-york.org.uk, also enables relatives or close friends to register their own details and browse the website to assess the provision of care support.

Staff at the city's libraries and the renovated Explore Centre in the centre of York have been trained to help customers to log on and set up an email account to register on the website.

It has been estimated that the demands for care services from the elderly in York alone will cost an extra 7m annually by 2020 – a 43 per cent increase on current spending if no contingency plans are put in place.

The city council is planning for a 77 per cent rise in the number of people aged 85 and over in the next 20 years and a 36 per cent increase in elderly people with dementia in the next decade.

A survey was carried out earlier this year of anyone aged over 18 who had received equipment or had their home specially adapted between September to December.

The new online service is being launched this month.