OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) Service - West Lothian
Supporting older people to stay active, independent and connected.
Cyrenians OPAL (Older People, Active Lives) service aims to maintain or increase older people’s independence and well-being across the West Lothian Council area. Our free service is funded through a collaboration with West Lothian Council, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership, and NHS Lothian and is available for those typically aged 60+.
The service is delivered by a team of dedicated, trained volunteers. Our volunteers offer encouragement, companionship and support to help older people engage in social, leisure and community activities.
Who do we support?
We support older people who may be experiencing little or no social connections.
Through our Groups Programme, we deliver 13 regular social and activity groups across West Lothian which provide a welcoming and relaxed way of getting to know people. To find out more about our groups and where they operate visit: OPAL Groups
Through our One to One/Befriending service, we support older people who additionally may be experiencing one or more of the following:
• Returning home after a recent stay in hospital
• Living distantly from family or friends
• A Carer responsibility
• Depression and/or anxiety
• A recent/early dementia diagnosis
What do we offer?
- Befriending: short term (maximum service of 9 months) and telephone – volunteers provide a wide variety of support including connecting with local community activities, companionship after bereavement, hospitalisation or a fall, or to just chat and share experiences.
- Introduction to local groups or social activities – A volunteer will help to identify groups or activities in the local area. They may also initially accompany a client to a group, until the client feels ready to attend alone.
How to access our services
If you or someone you know would like to use our service, or find out more, please get in touch by:
Calling 01506 815 815 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also keep up to date with the service via our Facebook page.
The OPAL Referral Process
We ask you to please consider the following before referring someone to the OPAL one-to-one support/befriender service:
- Is the older person able to manage themselves? - we do not provide personal care (such as help with washing, dressing and going to the toilet).
- Is the older person able to walk outside independently, without personal physical support? (e.g. leaning on another). Walking sticks and frames are accepted.
- Can the older person be left alone, whether indoors or outdoors? The volunteer may need to leave the client alone for short periods (for example when making a phone call or visiting the toilet). If this is an identified risk we cannot support them.
- If the older person has dementia or memory loss, are they able to remember arrangements made with the volunteer? If not, is there a family member who can assist, or do they have any memory aids or other tools or strategies that work?
- Is the older person able and willing to leave the house with the volunteer? We understand it may take time to build confidence to leave the house, but is this something the person would like to achieve?