COUNTY councillors could be encouraged to “adopt a care home” in their communities in a bid to engage with older people.

The suggestion will be put to the council’s adult services scrutiny committee next week.

If adopted, the scheme would see elected members visiting care homes and extra care housing units to meet elderly people, and so help better represent their needs in the council chamber.

In a report to councillors, deputy director for joint commissioning Sara Livadeas said: “We are actively encouraging greater community involvement and reducing our role as a direct provider of services.

“Adopt a Care Home is about elected members, in their role as representatives and community leaders, developing a relationship with older people living in care homes in their locality. Through this relationship they can help to champion the needs of older people living in the area and promote good quality care through taking an active interest in the support that people are receiving.”

There are 108 care homes for older people in Oxfordshire housing about 4,200 older people, of which 1,500 are paid for by the council.

Reports by the Care Quality Commission in 2010 showed that 86 per cent of care home places in Oxfordshire were of good or excellent quality compared to 82 per cent nationally.