Programme Coordinator Aine Bird
Chair of the Alliance Michael Finnegan
Who’s involved in the Meath Age Friendly County Programme?
Meath County Council and the Strategic Alliance launched the Meath Age Friendly County Initiative in September 2011. The initiative was endorsed by the County Manager Tom Dowling who appointed a Project Manager, Assumpta Kelly from the staff of the Meath Community & Enterprise Department. Following ratification by the Council members and the County Development Board a Strategic Alliance was formed and the voice of older people sought. The process passed an historical milestone with the signing of the Dublin Declaration in September 2011 by the County Mayor. The strategy was officially launched on Monday July 16th by Micheal O’Muircheartaigh.
The strategic Alliance is made up of the following members:
Mr Michael Finnegan, Chairman, Age Friendly Alliance
Ms Catherine McGuigan , Regional Programmes Manager, Age Friendly Ireland
Ms Áine Bird, Administrative Officer, Community Department, Meath Co Co
Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken, Chief Superintendent, Dept of Justice & Equality
Ms. Miriam McKenna, Manager, Flexibus
Ms Frances Flynn, Interim Co-ordinator Meath Services for Older Persons, HSE
Ms Jackie Maguire,Chief Executive Meath County Council
Mr Kevin Stewart, Director of Services, Meath County Council
Cllr Sarah Reilly, Member of Meath Co Co
Mr. Michael Ludlow, Chief Executive Officer, Meath Partnership
Ms. Liza Lavery, LMETB
Mr. John Byrne, Director, Mid East Regional Authority
Professor Philip Nolan, President NUIM Maynooth
Mr Liam Carey, Head of National Development, Fáilte Isteach, third Age Centre
Mr Jim Mathews, Olders Peoples Forum
Mr Pat Cussen, Olders Peoples Forum
Mr Hugh O’Connor, Age Friendly Ireland
Ms Aine Brady, CEO Third Age Centre
Mr. Rodd Bond, Director, The Netwell Centre
What did older people tell us?
What did older people across County Meath tell us? (A snapshot)
The initiative carried out a consultation phase including two large County Consultations and a number of smaller focus groups, one to one meetings and questionnaires. Across all of the eight strategic themes (as outlined by the World Health Organisation) a number of issues emerged. The two key issues for older people in Meath were Transport & Information/Communication. Older people in Meath felt strongly that this new process should allow them to have a voice at both local and national level.
How has the County responded?
How has the County Meath responded? (An overview)
– Whilst there were various groups in existence across the County, it was agreed to establish a new older person’s forum in the County in order to ensure that the voice would be representative of all older people. This forum is managed by the LEADER Partnership Co. and part funded by the Community & Enterprise Dept. within Meath County Council. Members were elected across each Electoral District within the County. Membership is open to all including representatives from community groups, individuals, advocates/brokers/carers and those living in nursing homes.
– Transport – A working group has been established chaired by the Manager of the Transport Co-Ordination Unit. 1200 transports surveys have been completed and mapped using GIS determining where there is demand and how supply can meet the needs. The community car scheme is being scaled up to support the demand. Bus Eireann has rerouted the service to ensure older people can get to the gates of Drogheda Hospital. Bus shelters/stops have been identified as priority areas.
– Information – Based on the Louth website and development of a national portal Meath has very recently adopted a County wide information website specifically for older people. Information has been gathered from all key stakeholders and a jobs-bridge placement has been secured to populate the information. The website will be promoted as a one stop shop for information for all older people living in County Meath
– Safety & Security – County Meath engaged in the pilot Crime Prevention Ambassadors programme. The Crime Prevention Ambassadors initiative is essentially a peer programme sharing crime prevention information that was developed at the National Community Policing Office. The volunteer Ambassadors provide information, give advice and raise awareness, thereby reducing any unwarranted fears. The initiative aims to support and empower older people to make greater use of available Garda resources, and so feel and be safer at home and in their communities. Alongside Cavan and Monaghan 37 volunteers participated in the pilot and visited 230 older people, distributed Emergency Information Bottles, Crime prevention information and forms for older people to add their names to the Garda Older Persons Register. The volunteers were accredited for their participation and the programme is undergoing a review with a vision to roll out nationally.
For more detailed information on these and the other commitments / actions please refer to the Meath Age Friendly Strategy which can be found HERE
Age Friendly Strategy