Family centres develop pilot programme for older people living alone

THE Droichead Family Resource Centre, Callan is the latest family centre to launch an appeal for volunteers to help them with their pilot ‘Home Care and Repair’ initiative for older people living alone.

THE Droichead Family Resource Centre, Callan is the latest family centre to launch an appeal for volunteers to help them with their pilot ‘Home Care and Repair’ initiative for older people living alone.

In partnership with the HSE andsupported Kilkenny Carlow Contact Service, the volunteer befriending service for older people operating from the Fr. McGrath Centre, The Callan family centre will launch their local pilot programme on Thursday, May 2 at an open morning in their centre.

The aim of the programme is to recruit local people to act as befrienders to older people in their neighbourhoods and other volunteers interested in providing some basic care or security repair work to help keep their homessecure and safe.

Manager of the Droichead Family Resource Centre, Olive Maher hope that other groups working with older people in the Callan area will help to get the initiative off the ground. “The need for these kinds of services for older people is growing. We hope that they will send someone to our official open morning and launch next week,” Olive said.

Interagency Partnership

Last month at a meeting in the Fr. McGrath Centre, formal agreement was made between HSE Older Persons Service Manager, Patricia McEvoy, Kilkenny County Councils Martin Mulally, Tus Manager Mike Redmond, and Kilkenny Contact staff and all four managers of the four family resource centres in Kilkenny to establish a range of pilot programmes across the city and county to recruit and support volunteers to develop this pilot initiatives in their areas. There is a real need for local people to try and play a more supportive role in watching out for and supporting older people living alone.

Kilkenny Co Council will support the initiative by providing some funds to each of the areas to help purchase materials such as security locks or other materials that may be needed to keep homes safe.

Tus and the Community Enterprise scheme operated by Fas will provide employment trainees and Kilkenny Contact and the Family Resource Centres will work to coordinate and develop the initiative and link it up to other older person support groups in their areas.

Newpark Close Family Centre ran the first pilot with the befriending group, Kilkenny Contact and Tus worker, Frank Cody, last year and this is from where the idea for a small care and secure repairs programme for older people emerged. The Mill Family Centre in Urlingford and the Fr. McGrath Centre will hold public launches of their pilot project services in coming weeks.