Thursday 23 November 2017

Older people's groups forging links abroad


OLDER PEOPLE'S groups from around Louth took part in a unique live video link-up with their counterparts in Scotland and Australia at the Netwell Centre in DkIT last Friday.

The live link-up saw members of the Louth Older People's Forum addressing the Scottish Older People's Assembly at Parliament Buildings in Edinburgh.

They were also be linked into the Older People's Forum in Victoria, Australia, and various Scottish groups in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dalbeattie.

Louth is Ireland's first age friendly county, and is one of 35 members of the European Innovation Partnership for older people, who are behind the video conference on the theme of Care in the Home.

'As part of our membership of the EIP, we constantly share information about the lives of older people in our community,' said Mary Deery co-ordinator of Louth Age Friendly County.

'We will be using this fantastic opportunity to showcase our Cultacha programme, which has made such a difference to so many people's lives in Louth.

' The theme is care in the home and we will be presenting our Cultacha model of care in the community, which is unique in Ireland and Europe,' said Mary.

The Cultacha programme was devised by the Netwell Centre in conjunction with the Louth Living Lab.

It provides a befriending, listening and advocacy service that ensures that the needs and wants of the older people take priority when dealing with statutory and non-statutory services.

'Cultacha means strong support, or back-up in Irish, and that is exactly what this unique service provides. It helps to stop the shrinkage in older people's lives, and that is vitally important,' said Mary.

The Louth Older People's Forum comprises community stakeholders and older people's groups from the entire county.

Over 30 members of the Forum will be joined by the chairs of the four local authorities in Louth in the video conference.

' This is a huge day for the forum members. We will be addressing the Scottish Older People's Assembly which directly advises the Scottish Government on issues affecting older people.

'We have a great success story to tell in Louth, and we were delighte to share it with our fellow forums in Scotland and Australia,' said Mary.

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