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Launch of the National Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme

Age Friendly Ireland | National

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Launch of the National Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme

Sláintecare and Age Friendly Ireland launch the National Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme, a new initiative, funded by Sláintecare, that aims to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs.

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Sláintecare and Age Friendly Ireland |Meath County Council are rolling out a new joint programme ‘Healthy Age Friendly Homes’, across nine Local Authority areas.

The Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, TD and Minister of State for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke TD have today launched a new programme which is aimed at supporting older adults to remain living in their own homes and communities.

The Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme is a Sláintecare and Age Friendly Ireland joint programme.  It is a two-year programme and it will be rolled out across nine Local Authority areas.  The programme funded by Sláintecare aims to reach up to 4,500 homes across nine Local Authority areas over the two years.  These older people will have been identified as having significant social care needs and at risk of hospitalisation or premature entry into long term residential care.  It is the aim of this programme to target supports at these older people in the form of improving their living conditions, access to continued health and social care supports and tailored community supports. The Local Coordinators will support older people and their families to navigate the services by proactively linking them to the appropriate supports and services.

Ultimately this approach aims to:

  • Support the avoidance of early or premature admission to long term residential care
  • Enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs (Rightsizing)
  • Live with a sense of independence and autonomy, and
  • Be and feel part of their communities

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Research shows that the majority of people want to remain in their own home as they age. This desire however is often challenged by their home not being suitable, their needs become more pronounced, their financial means decrease or their mobility declines. With the right assessment and intervention, the living environment can be changed from being one of health risk to one of health support.

The approach taken in the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme is to support older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence, for as long as possible. The programme’s ambition is to enable everyone to live longer healthier lives by keeping care close to home and expanding the range of health and social care services in the community.

This is particularly important for older people, who access these services more frequently. It is about providing a range of alternatives for older people who may otherwise transition into long term residential care prematurely.

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, TD said As we think about later life, most of us would prefer to stay as long as possible in our own homes, surrounded by friends, loved ones, and the familiar setting of our community. Our ambition as a government is to do everything, we can to support older people to continue living at home with dignity and independence. The Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme being launched today, which is funded by Sláintecare, is a very important part of delivering on this policy.”

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Laura Magahy, Executive Director Sláintecare said “The Healthy Age Friendly Homes programme is a unique collaboration between Sláintecare and local government that will support people to live longer and healthier lives in their own homes. Over the next two years, we will reach up to 4,500 homes across 9 Local Authorities. Our local co-ordinators will act as a catalyst to the person-centred care at the heart of the Government’s vision for an Age Friendly Ireland. One of Sláintecare’s key goals is the timely, safe access to care and the promotion of health and wellbeing. This innovative new programme will deliver on this goal by supporting older people to live in their own home and communities, for as long as possible, and avoiding the premature transition into long-term residential care.”

Speaking about the new Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme, Minister Peter Burke said:

“Healthy Age Friendly Homes will be a key tool to identify older people who may need support and how best we can deliver this, leading to better health outcomes for older people. Housing is a top priority when developing age-friendly communities and supporting older people to remain healthy and age in place is always our priority.   I have been working hard to ensure that the housing needs of our ageing population will be included in the forthcoming ‘Housing For All’ government policy”.

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Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council and host of Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service was speaking at today’s launch and said,

“We are delighted to be partnering with Sláintecare to deliver this programme which offers an opportunity to best enable older people to remain living independently in their own homes and communities with the correct supports.”

For further information on the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme visit https://www.meath.ie/council/council-services/community/older-people/healthy-age-friendly-homes-programme

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