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Island’s Independent Living Centre officially opened 22 August 2011

\Ministers Anderson and Quayle cutting the ribbonThe Isle of Man’s Independent Living Centre, located at the Community Health Centre on Westmoreland Road in Douglas, has been officially opened by the Minister for Health, Hon David Anderson and by the Minister for Social Care, Hon Martyn Quayle.

The Independent Living Centre, operated by Noble’s Hospital’s Occupational Therapy Team, will provide a ‘one stop shop’ where people who are struggling with everyday tasks can receive free professional assessment and advice from qualified Occupational Therapy staff. Independent Living Centres are a well established part of Community Equipment Services in the United Kingdom and the opening of the Isle of Man’s Centre brings this enhanced level of support to the Island into line.

The facility includes a large range of demonstration equipment to assist with daily living tasks – including meal preparation, showering and getting up and down stairs. Equipment cannot be purchased from the Centre but staff can help to identify the right equipment, provide information on cost and can advise on local sources of provision or funding when purchasing equipment. The Centre holds up to date information on equipment from a range of local and national suppliers as well as information regarding other organisations that can assist.

Occupational Therpay Team with Ministers Members and ManagemMinister for Health, Hon David Anderson said,

“The aim of this centre is to promote independent living for adults and children with physical and/or sensory impairments. It will also provide information to carers and professionals and anyone concerned with disability. The Centre will be hosting a series of training events for staff and others and will be a great asset for our existing Rehabilitation services.

The facility will provide many benefits. It will improve access to Occupational Therapy, provide an opportunity for individuals to try equipment before purchases are made avoiding unnecessary expenditure; and support our Department’s Health Strategy aim of helping older people and those with long term conditions to self manage their own conditions.”

Whilst the Department of Health operates the facility, the Centre has close links with the Department of Social Care, which deals with a range of disability issues and related benefits. The Centre is just one example of the close working relationship between the two Departments which continuously look to deliver fully joined-up services.

Vanessa Callin Occupational Therapist and Minister for HealtMinister for Social Care, Hon Martyn Quayle said,

“Community health and social care services are provided in close co-operation between colleagues in the Departments of Health and Social Care as well as other departments, plus our partners in the Island’s third sector of voluntary and charitable organisations. The Independent Living Centre will provide easy access for those members of the public who need advice on daily living assistance to enable older and disabled people make decisions about the equipment they wish to use. May I take this opportunity to pass on my appreciation to all the staff working in this Resource Centre for the excellent work they do to help those people in our community to enjoy a good quality of life.”

The Department of Health is extremely grateful to the many companies and individuals who have provided the larger demonstration items on loan.

The Independent Living Centre will be open on the first Wednesday of each month from 09.30 – 15.30 hours and it is not necessary to make an appointment. Individuals can also access the Centre at other times by calling 642561 to make an appointment. The Centre is accessed from Ballakermeen Road and parking is available outside.

Ruth Lea, Acting Operational Manager for Occupational Therapy said,

“The opening of this Centre is the realisation of a long term strategic vision for the Occupational Therapy Service. Increasing numbers of people are seeking equipment to help them remain in their own homes. This Centre will provide a valuable addition to the services already available to support patients to live as independently as possible.”

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