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Digital Support Initiative

Age Friendly Ireland

Age Friendly Fingal

Programme: Fingal

WHO Theme: Respect And Social Inclusion

Health & Wellbeing Theme: Staying Connected

Funding Stream: Digital Support initiative HSE

Resources Required: Financial, Paid Staff

Cost: 1000-5000

Description

This initiative was rolled out to 31 Age Friendly Programme managers across Ireland. From a fund of 100K this initiative ensured that each county had €3,225.00 to provide digital devices to nursing homes in their county. This initiative has opened up opportunities for residents in nursing homes to stay connected with their families and friends through the use of technology. This project has seen many benefits to the residents of the nursing homes to the families and to the staff working in the nursing homes, particularly where there have been long periods of lock-down. Digital Technology has literally been a lifeline to some of our areas of work.

Aim of Initiative

This initiative is aimed at Residents of nursing homes across Ireland and their families.

Who is it aimed at

This initiative is aimed at Residents of nursing homes across Ireland and their families.

Steps critical to success

  1. Identify key stakeholders and maintain contacts with the key players involved in the project
  2. Carryout ongoing evaluation on the programme to ensure the devices are working correctly and the needs of the residents are being met with the device.
  3. Maintain contact and make changes if required to grow and develop as technology is constantly developing.

Challenges in Planning / Delivery

  1. Due to lockdowns the digital devices were delayed in be delivered to the nursing homes
  2. Turnover of staff in nursing homes led to lack of support for some of the older people using the devices
  3. Everyone wanted a device so more funding would be required to meet this desire.

Outcomes / Benefits

  1. Seeing the happy faces of some of the residents of nursing homes after they have seen their grandchildren via zoom/skype- is powerful
  2. The fact that digital technology has been so widely used over the last 14 months – it has taken the fear of trying something new
  3. People in general are more open to using technology as away to communicate with not only loved ones but their GP’s, getting involved in Day care services and activities, yoga classes on line, music appreciation, poetry on line and staying connected in general.

Evaluation / Report:
Ongoing evaluation in progress. however email from family member stated that her mother having access to an Acorn tablet in her Nursing home made the lockdown bearable. She wanted up to know that her mother being part of this project has been a lifeline to her whole family.

Contact:
Louise Edmonds, Age Friendly Fingal Programme Manager, Louise.Edmonds@fingal.ie

Website:
https://agefriendlyireland.ie/programmes/local/fingal/