Bucks service that makes a difference to elderly people’s lives

John Massey, aged 100
John Massey, aged 100

Bucks County Council is raising awareness of its Prevention Matters service, which helps give support to elderly and vulnerable people.

The organisation supports people who are vulnerable due to illness, frailty, loneliness or disability.

It gives people support so they can stay independent and not reach the stage where they end up in hospital and perhaps need long-term care.

One person who has benefited from the service is John Massey, who is 100 today.

John was referred to Prevention Matters by the Bucks Sensory Service after he was registered as sight impaired.

Once John’s Prevention Matters Community Practice Worker (CPW) met him and discussed his needs, he was taken to a Movers and Shakers class.

This service, run by the County Council and the NHS, combines craft-based activities with a gentle exercise session, followed by a light lunch and the chance to socialise.

The visit was a success, and John particularly enjoyed the Tai Chi exercises that he was able to take part in from a chair.

John said: “I’ve led an interesting life – I never thought I would live to be a hundred.

“Really, although I have a few problems – my eyesight and my deafness, I also have a pacemaker and have had my knees pinned – I don’t feel ill.

“I enjoy my food - I’ll eat anything!

“I like coming to Movers and Shakers – I enjoy a chat and I’ve made more friends by coming here.”

Bucks County Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing Patricia Birchley said: “We’re leading longer and healthier lives, and Buckinghamshire has one of the highest county life expectancy rates for over-65s in the country.

“John is a wonderful example of how Prevention Matters can help make sure that age doesn’t stop you enjoying life, and it’s inspiring that he’s celebrating 100 years and still trying new things and making new friends.

“The Prevention Matters team will work with each person to find the best local opportunities to socialise, keep active, and continue to follow hobbies and interests - so if you think they can help you, a loved one, or someone you know, just give them a call – it’s a totally free service.”

Prevention Matters can be contacted on 0300 666 0159.

You can either refer yourself or be referred by your GP.