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Vital service that allows elderly to stay at home

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: July 26, 2013

By Jason Evans

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Still at home: Agnes Thomas, aged 95, at her home in Penlan where she is cared for. She is pictured with her daughter Pat James.

THE family of a 95-year-old woman have praised a council service for helping to keep their mum living an independent life.

Agnes Thomas from Penlan was struck down with pneumonia at the start of the year and had to spend nine weeks in hospital.

Daughter Pat James said she was worried that her mum — who is registered blind — would not be able to return home after her illness.

But then along came Swansea Council's domiciliary care assessment service (DCAS).

Mrs James said: "Mum had lost loads of weight, strength and confidence.

"I offered her the opportunity to live with us but I already have caring responsibilities for my son and she really just wanted to be at home. Then we moved on to the DCAS team.

"I've got to say they were brilliant, absolutely marvellous.

"They were friendly, professional and caring and really put Mum at ease and related to us as a family so we all felt informed.

"The DCAS team have basically enabled her to continue living in her own home, which is what she wanted. It is a vital service."

Set up last year, the DCAS team works with older and vulnerable people and their families to assess their care and health needs, and then draws up a plan for support and action.

Staff from DCAS then help carers such as occupational therapists to get clients back on their feet and make sure they have the skills and equipment they need to stay independent.

Mark Child, Swansea Council's cabinet member for wellbeing, said he was keen to see as many people as possible receiving community-based services to help them live in their own homes.

He said: "This is what most people have told us they want, and through services like DCAS we are re-enabling people and giving them skills and confidence to maintain their independence."

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