Who’s involved in the Clare Age Friendly County Programme?
Alliance Chaired by Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare Co. Council
• Independent Chairperson of the Implementation Group – Maria Molloy
• Clare Co. Council – Karen Fennessy, Age Friendly Co-ordinator
• Older People’s Council – Carole Head, OPC Chairperson
• Older People’s Council – Stella O’Gorman, OPC Vice-Chairperson
• Older People’s Council – Patricia Anne Moore, OPC PRO
• Health Service Executive – Ethna McTeague, Manager of Community Services for Older People
• An Gárda Síochána – John Kerin, Chief Superintendent
• Clare Local Development Company – Doirín Graham, Chief Executive
• Public Participation Network – Sarah Clancy, PPN co-ordinator
• Clarecare – Fiacre Hensey, Manager
• Clare Bus – Laura Ward, Manager
• Limerick Clare Education Training Board – Breda O’Driscoll, Community Education Facilitator
• Limerick Institute of Technology – Jennifer Moran Stritch (recently appointed)
• University of Limerick – Professor Rachel Msetfi, Executive Dean of Education & Health Sciences (recently appointed)
• Family Carers Ireland – Sean Donal O’Shea, Manager
• Local Enterprise Office – Awaiting appointment
• Chamber of Commerce – Awaiting appointment
What did older people tell us?
What did older people across County Clare tell us? (A snapshot)
Four Hundred people attended the initial series of consultations which were held across County Clare in Ennis, Shannon, Scariff, Kilrush and Ennistymon. These consultations were widely promoted and people were also invited to submit their views and suggestions in writing. Some of the key issues raised include;
– Safety and security is a big issue and there needs to be better access to Gardai
– Most new development seems to be geared towards the young. For example, there is no seating for the elderly to allow them to relax and appreciate the beautiful scenery or to engage in gentle exercise
– Signage can be confusing. “Why not use the “Age Friendly” logo to highlight accessible areas or local amenities and keep things simple with pictures.”
– In the absence of an adequate public service, older people, who do not drive or own a car, are dependent on family or the generosity of neighbours and in the current recession older people are becoming even more marginalised as family members are forced to emigrate and public services are reduced.
– Social events make a considerable difference to those older people feeling lonely. The training and education events, such as Life Long Learning initiatives, make older people still feel relevant and welcome. “Loneliness is a big problem for older people….local events start local friendships.”
– Service staff should be aware of the importance of courtesy and consideration for all citizens and should strive to include older customers who sometimes feel that they are disregarded or treated with indifference. “ stop referring to us as ‘THEM;’ We are part of the community.”
– The expectation that everyone is computer-literate, coupled with the lack of continuity and visibility of key local service providers makes communication hard for older people since for them communication is always personal.
How has the County responded?
How has the County Clare responded? (An overview)
The age friendly strategy was launched in November 2013 with the annual report on actions due to be published at the end of 2014. The Implementation Group has mapped all current IT provision to ensure coordination of services and to enhance training opportunities.
The Transition Year project was a huge success and the group are now looking at ways to expand this across the county and potentially support creating an Age Friendly TY module nationally.
– To increase access to physical activity, Clare Sport Partnership and HSE will facilitate training for the staff of public and community leisure centres on age-appropriate leisure and recreational exercise programmes and activities and will facilitate the development of a discount scheme for Older People using these centres.
– Clare County Council will pilot a book delivery service and oral history project with St Joseph’s Hospital, Ennis.
– The Gardai will establish a register of postmen serving each Community Garda Area and will develop a Crime Prevention and Safety Checklist for Older People for circulation. Gardai will also develop a training session for postmen/postwomen around crime prevention, what to look out for and how to report issues.
– Clare County Council will incorporate Age Friendly planning principles and guidelines into all key documents and strategies and will ensure age friendly planning guidelines influence all future development and Improvement Plans. The Council will review adherence of all planning applications to its Age Friendly planning principles and guidelines.
For more detailed information on these and the other commitments / actions please refer to the Clare Age Friendly Strategy which can be found HERE
Clare Age Friendly Initiatives
Annual Awards Ceremony
The Clare Older People’s Council is very active and organises an annual award ceremony for older volunteers who do great work in their community.
Text Alert Schemes
Following a pilot, the ‘Text Alert’ scheme is now up and running in 35 areas throughout Clare.
The Gardaí are promoting ‘Text Alert’ by engaging with communities at local meetings attended by the Crime Prevention Officer.
The scheme is particularly successful in rural areas. The response to ‘Text Alert’ from those that sign up is instant.
Reminiscence Therapy combines resources from Clare Library Service, HSE, Clare Volunteer Centre and Community Services.
The library compiled ‘reminiscence packs’ with material from old newspapers, advertisements, photographs, books and maps.
This therapy has shown positive effects with the potential to draw on early memories for people with dementia thereby highlighting the person’s preserved abilities.