ALONE launch BConnect technology pilot for older people living in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon

The charity has received €169,365 funding under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan

Galway, 22nd February 2019  ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, has announced a pilot programme to provide its BConnect supportive technology to 60 older people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The programme was launched by Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Seán Canney TD, in the PorterShed, Galway today.

Funding of €169,365 received under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2018[1] will be used to provide ALONE’s BConnect technology and support to 60 older people who use the services of Clúid and St Vincent de Paul.

Every older person will be provided with a tablet with ALONE’s BWell app, and will have smart home technology (BHome) installed, which will enable them to stay linked in with support services, self-monitor their health and activity, and feel secure and supported in their home.

The funds will also support the position of Community Coordinator, who will engage with local community organisations and work with both new and existing befriending and support services in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

It is hoped that the learnings from the pilot will be used to make ALONE’s BConnect technology available across the country.

Minister Canney said at the launch, “Ireland is looking ahead to an ageing demographic and it is essential that we are working to provide the best quality of care across urban and rural areas. Innovation in care by organisations such as ALONE offers huge benefits to older people and their families as they pursue independent living as they age. It is fantastic to see such a pioneering programme in place for the older people of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE is delighted to have the support of the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan and to be working with Clúid and St Vincent de Paul to further the development and implementation of BConnect technology and community supports. With the help of advancements in technology and the support of ALONE staff, older people will be able to age at home independently for longer.”

Moynihan continued, “At ALONE we see the challenges posed by an ageing demographic. We are working to meet them by reimagining our services and making the most of technological advances to provide the best support we can to older people and the people and organisations who care for them. It is fantastic to be able to provide our services to people in the West of Ireland directly for the first time and we hope that this is just the beginning of our journey.”

ALONE BConnect provides technology and community supports to create connections between older people and the support organisations they need. BConnect offers smart technology, knowledge-sharing, and training opportunities to support people to live independently at home.

ALONE’s most recent Annual Report cited a sizable growth in the demand for its services, echoing Ireland’s rapidly changing demographic and the continued difficulties faced by older people across the country. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, the need for services to support older people will only grow.

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit alone.ie or call (01) 679 1032.

 

22//02/2019 Repro free Pictured are:
Seán Kyne TD is Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sophie Ainscough, BConnect manager, Seán Canney TD, Minister of State for the Department of Rural and Community Development and Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE.
Photo:Andrew Downes XPOSURE .

ENDS

 

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

 

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600

 

[1] 2.1.4 Effective utilisation of technology to support older people to live in their communities