Programme Coordinator Mairead Cranley
Chair of the Alliance Seamus Neely
Who’s involved in the Donegal Age Friendly County Programme?
Donegal County Council officially launched the Donegal Age Friendly County Initiative in January 2014. The initiative was endorsed by the County Manager Seamus Neely who appointed a Project Manager, from the staff of the Donegal County Council.The initiative has engaged in a broad consultation phase across the entire County including focus groups and questionnaires. The ambition is to launch the strategy towards the end of 2014. The strategic Alliance is made up of the following members:
Donegal County Council, Chief Executive (Chairperson)
Donegal County Council, Director of Services
HSE, Area Manager
An Garda Siochana, Chief Superintendent
Letterkenny Institute of Technology, President
Older Peoples Forum, 2 Representatives (Interim)
Age Friendly Ireland, Regional Programme Manager
Donegal Development Company, CEO
Donegal ETB, CEO
What did older people tell us?
What did older people across County Donegal tell us? (A snapshot)
Due to the size, diversity and layout of the County, to date, a number of common themes are being raised: Information and communication is highlighted as a key issue for older people including the lack of age friendly mechanisms, the overuse of complicated forms, jargon, literacy issues, phone automation services, lack of broadband, inability to use IT and the like. Transport is also emerging as a barrier to accessing services including basics such as shopping and health appointments.
How has the County responded?
How has the County Donegal responded? (An overview)
The strategy is currently being compiled and a stakeholder planning day is being held in October to encourage participation from all service providers across the County to seek commitments to solutions that older people have proposed. Models of good practice from other counties are being reviewed to see how they can be adopted for Donegal County. These include
- The creation of the website
- The scaling up of the community car scheme that currently exists
- The sustaining of key services such as meals on wheels & befriending
- The adoption of the crime prevention ambassadors programme
- The nomination of a Garda representing the needs of older people in each station (a strategic action in the Dublin Strategy)
- The adoption of Age Friendly hospital principles for Letterkenny General
- The establishment of a Business Forum to assist with the rolling out of Business Recognition, Mentoring programmes, SYOB 50+, men’s shed’s, social enterprise schemes, retirement planning/wisdom in the workforce
Already implementation has begun through the Letterkenny age friendly towns project and the town has a part time planner who will produce an action plan at year end. Depending on the success of this programme the Alliance would support a County wide roll out of the towns initiative.