‘Mind the Gap’ was a mini conference held in Hemyock recently to consider the provision of increased elderly care services in Hemyock and in particular housing. Hosted by the Parish Council and including representatives from the Abbeyfield Society, WCHA the local housing association and Mid Devon District Council the group began by reflecting on the existing services available to local people provided by both public and voluntary sector. These were not insignificant and the work of organisations such as the Healthy Living Centre, Blackdown GP Practice and Blackdown Support Group were highlighted and commended.
Following a talk by Michael Mitchell, Regional Chairman of Abbeyfield who provide sheltered housing schemes, the discussion ranged around the current care provision for the elderly and what was thought the most likely future needs for care homes and sheltered housing might be. Given the demographics, it was thought unlikely that funding would be available for a local nursing home, however it was considered that there might be value in some sheltered housing along the lines of the Abbeyfield model.