How Do I ?

Initiatives

 

ParloursGreat Northern HavenThe BrandMens ShedsArdeeDanceAgeing in Place Age Friendly Business

Louth Age Friendly County Website & Parlours

The Louth Age Friendly Website is a response to the voice of older people who expressed a wish to have up to date information on services particularly for older people on the one site. Front line services delivered by groups specifically for older people and public services will also be able to use the website to inform older people of the supports across a range of sectors. The intention is to have a “No Wrong Door” service where older people can access services at any service desk.

Issue/ Opportunity

The single most important issue for older people identified in the workshops leading up to the development of the Louth Age Friendly County Strategy was information on services and entitlements for older people in a “One Stop Shop” format. The Louth Citizen’s Information Services, as their contribution to the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative, developed a booklet on information on services for older people.  The format of the booklet was a particular success with the information presented under key headings such as Supports for Living at Home, Supports for Nursing Home Care, Transport etc.

As a result a subgroup of the LAFA was set up to take the data from the CIS booklet and develop a website and communications model that would assist older people in accessing  information  as close to their own environment as possible.

What Was Done

The Louth Age Friendly Communications Group was formed with key IT people from Louth County Council, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Louth Leader Partnership, HSE North East and older people. One of the objectives of the group was to develop a website based on the information collected by Louth CIS and presented in the same way. The website was designed to be used by older people, families of older people, frontline services for older people and public services for older people (“No wrong door”).

The LOPF had business cards developed with the website address, the Louth Age Friendly Lo-call phone number and key numbers such as the Good Morning Call Service, the Senior Help Line, the HSE Lo-call number and the CIS Information Line. To date over 1000 cards were distributed in the county. In addition the LOPF worked with a graphic designer to produce posters promoting the website and distributed them to GP waiting rooms, HSE outlets, Garda stations, Churches etc. The use of photographs was instrumental in engaging older people to access the website.

The process was facilitated by the Louth Age Friendly Project Manager and required key inputs from all participants. Older people drew up case studies to present on the website to simulate giving information in a real environment. They collected photographs, agreed formats and validated information as the design progressed. The information from statutory agencies was also validated by appointed people within the different agencies.  Finally, the website was tested on 70 older people in 2 IT classes for older people in Louth Leader Partnership and DkIT Age Action classes. The website is now on the curriculum of all IT classes for older people delivered by LLP and Age Action in Louth.

The Parlour

The concept of the “Parlour” was also developed by Louth Older People’s Forum where older people’s frontline services such as Drogheda and District Support 4 Older People, Drogheda Senior Citizen’s Interest Group and Cuidigh Linn provide drop in centres where older people can call in to find out information on services, access care and repair, safety and security pendants and care to drive services. The Parlours use the website to access information in a one-stop-shop format. The Great Northern Haven is also deemed a Parlour where older people residing in the GNH use the communal space to meet other older people in the community for classes, information sessions and social gatherings.

Key Achievements

The website has been identified as a success in that other counties see the merit in replicating it due to the similarity in data content and the simplicity of design. Plans are already underway to allow this to happen.

Many connections have been made from the private, public and educational research sector to access older people to garner their opinion on various topics and the Louth Age Friendly stakeholders to seek guidance on making a place age friendly.

Contact Box

Mary Deery, Administrative Office, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

t 042 9324 389 m 086 803 2686

Reach

National

Themes

  • Lead healthier & active lives for longer
  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Get to where we need to go, when we need to
  • Be enabled by the built and social environment
  • Have the information we need to live full lives
  • Be truly valued and respected
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

Great Northern Haven

Issue/ Opportunity

The Great Northern Haven project was a unique collaboration between the Louth Local Authorities & Dundalk Town Council, the local Health Service Executive, DkIT, Department of Environment, industry partners, research & development partners and the older residents. This demonstration project for independent living uses sensor technologies in a community and research context. This is a flagship project for County Louth as Ireland’s first ‘Age-Friendly’ County, and for the Netwell & CASALA research centres at the Dundalk Institute of Technology.  The Great Northern Haven is a purpose-built development of 16 smart apartments constructed specifically for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) applications. Fifteen of the apartments are occupied by older residents who are actively involved on research projects and the last apartment is maintained as a demonstration and transitional unit where older people leaving hospital can make the transition from acute based care back to their homes and identify additional supports and services that they will need to enable them to continue living in the community. The project seeks to enhance the quality of life of older people through ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies, using the best of sensor and healthcare technologies currently available and as part of a living lab for new technologies and services developed through research collaborations. Ongoing research at Great Northern Haven will inform national policy and provide international experience in relation to services for older people, and has a wide range of potential commercial application.  The Great Northern Haven was short listed for the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2011.

Rationale

What was the problem it was set up to solve or the opportunity it was aimed at seizing:The consultation process highlighted that most older people wished to stay living in their own homes with access to health, social & community services and that their homes would be equipped with the appropriate technologies that would allow for timely interventions to declining health. It was also an opportunity to pilot how the key agencies would work collaboratively to address the needs of older people remaining in their communities and living independently.

What was Done

The following actions were put in place;

  • Working Group established under the strategic Alliance
  • Funding sought through various agencies
  • Process of development through to build
  • Identification of older residents (inter agency, criteria setting, assessment based)
  • Residents moved in 2010
  • Official Launch
  • Ongoing research

Key Achievements

  • 15 apartments occupied
  • One dedicated transitional home using one of the apartments
  • Parlour established for regular use by residents and others in the community
  • Ongoing research using assistive technologies
  • Reference site for Irish, European and Global visitors

Reach

National

Themes

Lead healthier & active lives for longer
Stay living in our own homes and communities
Get to where we need to go, when we need to
Be enabled by the built and social environment
Have the information we need to live full lives
Be truly valued and respected
Participate in social, economic and public life
Continue to learn, develop and work

Contact

Rodd Bond, Netwell Centre – rodd.bond@netwellcentre.org

Andrew McFarlane, CASALA – Andrew.mcfarlane@casala.ie

Tel 042-9370496

Links:

http://www.youtube.com/user/NetwellCASALA#p/u/6/D4P7QuChXsg

http://www.youtube.com/user/NetwellCASALA?v=h-GNzqTJHkI&lr=1


Website:
http://www.casala.ie/the-great-northern-haven.html

 

The Age Friendly Brand

brandguidelines

Issue/ Opportunity

As with most counties Louth has many private, public and volunteer services delivering quality services and products for older people.  The problem identified by older people was that they did not know where to find them. Both the Louth AFA and the LOPF simultaneously decided that the Louth Age Friendly County needed to design an independent brand which would gather services under it and promote them not only to older people but also those people engaging with older people. The brand would only be successful if it was complimented by a successful communications strategy.

What was Done

The Louth Age Friendly Communications Group was formed with key IT people from Louth County Council, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Louth Leader Partnership, HSE North East and older people. The objective included the design of an independent brand, a website and a communications strategy that would promote Age Friendly products and services.

There were over 50 workshops held in Louth during the consultation phase of the Louth Age Friendly County Strategy. Feedback from all of the workshops was easily aligned to the 8 Framework Programme Areas of the WHO Age Friendly Cities Guidelines. It soon became apparent that the brand would need to reflect this. An unexpected fascinating outcome came from the LAFC Communications Group in the form of enthusiasm, creativity, gaiety, and a zest for information coupled with the need to disseminate it as far as possible for the betterment of older people. That enthusiasm emanated from the older people in the group. From that the idea of the 8 petals representing the 8 WHO Framework Programme areas emerged. The thinking included the potential of pollination of ideas, cross pollination and all petals attached to each other for support. During this process the group realised that the sharing of information was imperative and hence the title of the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative emerged “Sharing the Journey”.

“Sharing the Journey” captured the core principles and ethos of the Louth Age Friendly Initiative. The strap line used in communicating this message is “The Participation of Older People in a Partnership approach enriches Innovation”.  The level of collaboration has changed and evolved due to various reasons but the underlying commitment to collaborate across and within the sectors has remained strong.

Key Achievements

  • “Sharing the Journey” won one of 20 Excellence in Public Service Awards presented by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in June 2012.
  • The Louth Age Friendly County Brand was adopted by Ageing Well Network and now is used in all of the subsequent counties which developed Age Friendly Programmes.
  • A DVD “Sharing the Journey” was developed to present to the WHO Age Friendly Cities Network held in Ireland in Sept 2011.
  • The key outcome was the learning that “Process far outweighs Product” and when you get the process right the product WILL be Innovative.

Contact Box

Mary Deery, Administrative Office, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

t 042 9324 389 m 086 803 2686

Reach

National

Themes

  • Lead healthier & active lives for longer
  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Have the information we need to live full lives
  • Be truly valued and respected
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

 

Contact

Mary Deery, Louth County Council, County Hall, Dundalk

042 93 24 389 Mobile 086 803 2686

 

Mens Sheds

Issue/ Opportunity

Through consultation with older people, men were highlighted as a target group that were vulnerable and isolated particularly men that did not/had not engaged socially. The Louth Men’s Sheds project was initiated under the Age Friendly Initiative and targets men at risk of isolation or experiencing major life changes.   The project is very simple and has one criterion, men.

What was Done?

The ‘shed’ environment encourages men to share skills and learn new ones for example, skills in wood turning, mechanical work and horticulture, to name but a few. Socialising is a large part of the project too, providing opportunities for the development of new friendships as well as the renewal of old ones.  Under the age friendly imitative funding was sought from the IFI to roll out the shed programme including the appointment of a co-ordiantor.  The funding received has allowed the sheds to develop and they are now moving to a sustainable model post funding including working in partnership with the key agencies to identify supports.

Key Achievements:

  • Three sheds have been developed to date with the support of a full time co-ordiantor
  • The Dundalk shed is frequented by a close-knit and older group of men, ranging in age from 60 to 87 years with an average age of 67 years.  While these men tend to be less active, they are more social and their enterprise strengths relate to their enjoyment of being together.  They enjoy fund-raising through social quiz nights, in house draws and other social events as well as producing paintings, doll houses and many other beautiful hand crafted goods which are sold at the farmers market twice monthly.
  • In the Drogheda shed the men are relatively active and can be described as the ‘young old’, ranging in age from 48 to 75 with an average age of 60.  There are great social entrepreneurial activities going on in this shed, with the men generating a regular income from the sale of their goods
  • In the rural shed, in Cooley, the men are drawn largely from a farming background and this reflected in patterns of attendance in the shed, particularly when the weather is bad and farm work quieter. The men range in age from 50 to 80 years with an average age of 64.  A key strength of this shed is the ability to tap into the tourist potential. By coincidence, a number of the men are former chefs and plans are well underway to create a cookery book, offer cookery lessons and cookery demonstrations. These men plan to open a tea shop to compliment the craft products created by their peers in the shed.
  • In total approximately 200 men are attending the sheds across the County
  • The Netwell Centre managing the project will provide support and advice to other counties by arranging visits showcasing and highlighting how the shed operates
      • Each shed runs FETAC accredited courses in partnership with the VEC

Reach

Local & National

Themes

  • Lead healthier & active lives for longer
  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Have the information we need to live full lives
  • Be truly valued and respected
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

Contact

Eva Beirne, Project Co-Ordinator eva.beirne@netwellcentre.org or 085 8895471

Ardee Age Friendly Town

Issue/ Opportunity

The Ardee Area Development Plan was due to be reviewed in 2010. To build on the WHO’s guidelines for Age Friendly Cites, Louth County Council invited the LOPF to make a submission during the public consultation period of the development phase of the plan. The key issue in Ardee is that the N2 is also the main street in Ardee causing challenges for pedestrians. In the past there had been a fatality on the main street.

What was Done

The Louth Age Friendly Project Manager convened a meeting with the Ardee representatives to the LOPF and agreed a process to garner the maximum input from the people of Ardee. Ageing Well Network engaged the services of a graduate planner who was supervised by Mr Conor Skehan, DIT to do a mapping exercise on the town, carry out one to one interviews and write up the results of a public consultation session in Ardee.

The reps mobilised interested parties in developing Ardee as an Age Friendly Town including, Nursing Homes, Louth Leader Partnership, Rural Transport, Gardai, HSE, Older People’s Groups, Resident’s groups, Tidy Towns and individuals. Areas covered in the submission included: Housing, Mobility, Public Facilities, Recreation and Amenities, Economy and Employment and the Town Centre. A full toolkit on the public consultation session can be found in the resource section.

The submission was not successful, however Louth County Council agreed an action plan based on the key areas of action identified during the consultation sessions. As a result, a subgroup was formed to work with the Ardee—Mid Louth Area Engineer in Louth County Council to discuss the positioning of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, seating, the installation of adult exercise equipment in the Fairgreen and signage on walking routes. The subgroup is made up of LCC engineers and town clerk, HSE, An Garda Siochana, Tidy Towns, Ardee Active Retirement, Ardee Retailers Association, IWA and the Girls Primary School.

In tandem with the physical development of Ardee, the Age Friendly Business Forum developed a business recognition scheme where 35 businesses signed up to becoming Age Friendly. Moorehall Lodge Nursing Home and St Joseph’s Nursing Home in Ardee developed the Teaghlach model of Nursing Home Care known as Places to Flourish developed by DkIT, Netwell Centre and School of Nursing, University of Ulster. For further information please log on to http://www.placestoflourish.org/

Key Achievements

The key achievement was that consensus was achieved by the Ardee Active Retirement Group, the Tidy Towns Group, the Retailers Association and the IWA on the positioning of the Pedestrian Crossings, seats, exercise equipment etc. This resulted in the Area Engineer taking some challenging decisions to address the various issues identified.

Pedestrian crossings, railings, seats, traffic lights and exercise equipment were all provided through the mainstream budgets located at places agreed by the subgroup.

Safety and security was addressed by improving the public lighting, cutting hedges and opening up areas to cut down on anti-social behaviour.

Reach

National

Themes

  • Lead healthier & active lives for longer
  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Get to where we need to go, we we need to go
  • Be enabled by the built and social environment
  • Be truly valued and respected
  • Feel and be safe at home and out and about
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

Contact

Mary Deery, Administrative Office, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

Telephone 042 9324 389     Mobile 086 803 2686

Issue/ Opportunity

Dancing provides many opportunities to meet other people. Joining a dance class can increase self-confidence and build social skills. Because physical activity reduces stress and tension, regular dancing gives an overall sense of well-being.

The class started in Dundalk with 6 participants. That quickly changed as the numbers grew week on week. The number to date in Dundalk is 36. As the classes got larger we decided to continue this success in Drogheda by giving them the same opportunity, five week classes free of charge. From taking part in these classes a group formed in Drogheda to continue learning how to jive and is still running successfully and independently to date, without the help of the Sports Partnership. The number to date in Drogheda ranges from 37 – 42 participants.

In Dundalk, the classes are still in huge demand, as one lady stated “I live week on week for these dance classes, I recently became a widow and this is what brought me back to socialising.”

The classes have continued in Dundalk through charging a small fee of €3. The reason they haven’t gone independently like Drogheda is that the hall hire is much more expensive, so here in the Sports Partnership we subsidised the cost for them so that they can continue to enjoy exercising and socialising.

Reach

National

Themes

  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Get to where we need to go, we we need to go
  • Be enabled by the built and social environment
  • Have the information we need to live full lives
  • Be truly valued and respected
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

Contact

Valerie McMullen, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

Telephone 042 9324 356

Ageing in Place

Issue/ Opportunity

Louth has a strong volunteering culture, however that culture is very different in rural and urban settings. Louth has 2 large urban areas Dundalk and Drogheda with 2 very different volunteer cultures. Louth also has an isolated rural community, the Cooley peninsula and a strong rural agriculture producing area in mid Louth with Ardee as the supporting town.

Louth achieved significant national recognition in volunteering efforts such as National Tidy Town Awards for Carlingford, Tallanstown, Ardee & Blackrock. There is also a strong GAA tradition in the county. The Louth Community & Voluntary Forum has 9 thematic areas namely: Disability, Intercultural, RAPID, Social Economy & Community Enterprise, Youth Work, Sports, Older People, Heritage, Residents Associations, Tidy Towns and Community Development. There are 180 groups registered with the Louth C&V Forum.

Having pulled together all voluntary groups of older people, the LOPF identified the second phase of supporting Ageing in Place as mobilising the wider Community & Voluntary Sector in 3 ways:

  • Preventing volunteers from becoming invisible when they are no longer able to volunteer
  • Making their premises and endeavours Age Friendly
  • Becoming “Age Aware” in their communities—recognising vulnerable older people and, where possible linking them to an age related volunteer service.

Two other challenges/opportunities presented at the same time:

  • Ageing Well Network promoting Time Banking
  • The restrictions of Data Protection Acts.

What was done

Initially, Aisling Costello from Ageing Well Network made a presentation on Time Banking to reps from LCC, Louth Volunteer Centre and Louth Leader Partnership.  Resulting from that presentation it was agreed that an audit of volunteer groups would be carried out in the county. Many agencies and organisations held data bases of voluntary groups but were restricted in compiling them into one due to Data Protection. It was agreed at that point to set up a Volunteering group which would compliment the Louth Community & Voluntary Forum and within the confines of the Data Protection criteria compile one major list with consent to include contact details in a directory to be held on the Louth Community & Voluntary Forum website.

The Volunteering Group is made up of staff from LCC, Louth Leader Partnership, Louth Volunteer Centre, Citizen’s Information Services and HSE, Rehab, CAWT and Ageing Well Network. The objective of the group was to compile a directory of all community and voluntary groups in the county with the view to sharing information using the new C&V website, holding a C&V conference to launch the directory and website and create a greater appreciation of volunteers through the production of 2 x 3 minute DVDs which captures the volunteer’s experience and the service user’s experience of a voluntary service.

Louth Age Friendly is now in a position to access the wider community and voluntary sector through the directory and the C&V website. LAF sponsored the production of the DVDs and a support toolkit for voluntary organisations.

The aim of the LOPF is now to spread the message of Age Friendly to all community groups as above. Key actions include the signing of an “Age Friendly Charter” identifying 3 areas where they can become Age Friendly, a “Participation Awards Ceremony” and an Older Volunteer Award.

Key Achievements

  • The directory of service is now a working document live on the Louth C&V website.
  • The new C&V website is launched with a significant emphasis on Louth Age Friendly through the production of the DVDs which captures volunteering for and by older people
  • Louth Age Friendly County is now in a position to disseminate key important messages to all registered voluntary groups on ageing.
  • The LOPF have agreed to host “An Age Friendly Recognition Scheme for Older People” in the LOPF action plan for 2013-16.
  • Reach

    Local

    Themes

    • Lead healthier & active lives
    • Stay living in our own homes and communities
    • Get to where we need to go, we we need to go
    • Be enabled by the built and social environment
    • Feel and be safe at home and out and about
    • Have the information we need to live full lives
    • Be truly valued and respected
    • Participate in social, economic and public life
    • Continue to learn, develop and work

    Contact

    Mary Deery, Administrative Office, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

    Telephone 042 9324 389     Mobile 086 803 2686

Age Friendly Business Forum

Issue/ Opportunity

As part of the Louth Age Friendly County initiative an opportunity was identified whereby sustaining, supporting and creating jobs and new models of flexible value creating enterprise could be achieved through developing Louth as a leader in age-friendly business.

The Louth Economic Forum had a vision whereby an Age-Friendly Business plan would be developed to position Louth as Ireland’s most ready, prepared and active age-friendly business county supporting business to meet the economic opportunity of people living longer and healthier lives.

The purpose of the plan is to outline Louth’s joined up approach to developing County Louth and its hinterland as a leader in Age-Friendly Business.

The following action areas were identified;

  • Build awareness of the economic opportunity for Age-Friendly Business throughout the business community.
  • Support product and service opportunities for an ageing society by encouraging existing business and/or new ventures.
  • Capitalise on the expertise and wealth of experience among older people in the county.
  • Encourage employers to adopt more Age-Friendly policies and practices and provide recognition for such initiatives i.e. Louth Chambers of Commerce Awards.

What was Done

The following actions were put in place;

  • Establishment of the Louth Age-Friendly Business Forum in 2011. Chaired by Louth based entrepreneur, Gavin Duffy, the forum has 10 members, drawn from Louth’s Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, Netwell and CASALA Centre’s, Louth’s Older People’s Forum and Local Authority Management.
  • Formulation and production of an Age-Friendly Business Action Plan. This was achieved after extensive consultation with all the relevant stakeholders including Louth’s Age-Friendly County Alliance, Louth Older People’s Forum, the Business Community, Louth County Development Board and Louth County Council Members.
  • Assist in the establishment and promotion of the Age-Friendly Business Chambers Awards.

Key Achievements

  • Successful delivery of Ireland’s first Age-Friendly Business Consumer Fair, held in Louth in 2012.
  • Set up of an Age-Friendly Business information page on the Louth Local Authorities Business Support Unit website.
  • Roll out of an Age-Friendly pilot study and On-line Age-Friendly Business survey as designed by Netwell/CASALA, DkIT to the Business community in Ardee.
  • Delivery of Age-Friendly Business ‘Customer Care Development Strategy’ for the retail/service sector in Ardee.

Reach

Local

Themes

  • Stay living in our own homes and communities
  • Have the information we need to live full lives
  • Participate in social, economic and public life
  • Continue to learn, develop and work

Contact

Michael McCabe, Economic Development Officer, Louth Local Authorities, County Hall, Dundalk

Telephone 042 9324 231