The Association for Real Change, along with the Foundation for Learning Disabilities (FPLD) have launched the ‘Growing Older’ Resource at an event for provider organisations on 24 March 2014 in London.  The resource, which includes the final draft of the “Real Change Challenge on Older People” and an accompanying Evaluation Toolkit has been designed to help ensure the people you support lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives as they grow older.

Dame Philippa Russell The GOLD Group

The event, chaired by Dame Philippa Russell, who is chair of the Standing Commission on Carers, included a keynote speech from the GOLD group, who spoke about their lived experiences of receiving support as they grow older. The day also featured Cally Ward who introduced ARC’s Real Change Challenge and Christine Towers (FPLD) who talked about the development of the the Evaluation Toolkit.

The Evaluation Toolkit has been piloted by Community Integrated Care and Vibrance, who gave presentations about their experience of using it:

  • We found the tool encouraged staff to be open and honest about how their service was supporting people as they get older
  • The evaluation tool will make a difference to the people we support
  • Even in the short space of time for the pilot the toolkit has raised our awareness, challenged us and provided solutions
  • We intend to use the Evaluation Toolkit

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In workshops to discuss the resource, delegates were impressed with how it could be used for:

  • clarifying planning for an individual’s future
  • enhancing the awareness and understanding of staff
  • improving consistency of outcomes across larger organisations, and
  • prompting individuals, families and people providing support to have ‘difficult’ but necessary conversations about the issues surrounding growing older.

Feedback from the day was hugely positive with 100% of attendees rating the overall relevance of the day to their own work and satisfaction with the event as “good” or “very good”.

When asked what worked for them replies included:

  • the chairperson was phenomenal
  • the quality of the handouts and new information
  • the importance of addressing issues we sometimes avoid
  • Networking opportunities, Promotion of resources, GOLD Group
Both the Real Change Challenge and the Evaluation Toolkit are available as free downloads:

We look forward to seeing providers take up the Real Change Challenge and utilising the Evaluation Toolkit within their services.

We also give a special thanks to our sponsors Real Life Options who enabled us to offer places to the event free of charge, as part of their ongoing 20th Anniversary Celebrations.

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Presentations from the event can be downloaded here