The Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, and the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, have launched a new programme which is aimed at supporting older adults to remain living in their own homes and communities called ‘Healthy Age Friendly Homes’.
Sláintecare and Age Friendly Ireland / Meath County Council are responsible for rolling out this joint programme entitled ‘Healthy Age Friendly Homes’, across nine Local Authority areas. This is 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.
The programme 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 are at risk of hospitalisation or premature entry into long term residential care. It is the aim of this programme to target supports to improve the living conditions of older people and enhance access to continued health and social care 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.
- Live with a sense of independence and autonomy.
- Be and feel part of their communities.
Minister of State 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.”
“I am fully committed, along with Government as a whole, 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.”
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 of State for Local Government and Planning, 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 support, 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. Work continues to ensure that the housing needs of our ageing population will be included in the forthcoming ‘Housing For All’ government policy” and as Minister with responsibility for housing for older persons, I am working hard on this.”
Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council and host of Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service 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.”