Minister McEntee launches new ALONE partnership with Dundalk Institute of Technology

"This is all about collaboration", Minister Helen McEntee (pictured here with ALONE team).
“This is all about collaboration”, Minister Helen McEntee (pictured here with ALONE team).

Minister for Older People, Helen McEntee TD, today announced a new strategic partnership between ALONE, and Netwell CASALA, the research centre for ageing at Duncdalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). The partnership will see the expansion of existing social care and community support services for older people in the North East.

Speaking at the launch in the DkIT campus today. Minister McEntee, said “this important new partnership will see ALONE coordinate and grow existing social care programmes developed by Netwell CASALA, in collaboration with the HSE and Louth County Council. This is very good news for older people in the North East. These programmes include Support Coordination, Befriending, social clubs, events and outings along with the Good Morning Louth befriending telephone service, Dundalk Men’s Shed, the cinema club and seagull club.”

Minister McEntee highlighted the importance of developing a full range of services and supports to allow older people to age well at home and to remain connected to their community, “Support services in the community are vitally important to empower and help older people to age well at home. I would like to congratulate the team here at DkIT, along with those involved from the HSE and Louth County Council, for their remarkable work in developing this comprehensive social and care support programme in the North East. This new partnership with ALONE will enhance the supports and services offered to older people in the community and ensure that more older people in the area have access to these services.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We are delighted to be expanding our services to older people in the North East in our 40th anniversary year. ALONE hopes to bring greater sustainability and resources to the existing services for older people in the North East in line with our national strategy for supporting older people to age at home.”

Ann Campbell, President of DkIT, added, “Research into ageing is a one of our key programmes at DkIT so I am delighted that this project, which started in DkIT, has flourished to offer vital supports to so many older people in our community. I’m even more delighted that ALONE can now expand on these services and continue to support older people in the North East well into the future.”

Rodd Bond, Head of Netwell Casala, commented, “As an active participant in the partnership, Netwell CASALA will continue to be involved in these social programmes but with greater emphasis on researching and testing assistive technology to support the health and wellbeing of older people. We started this social support programme through the Great Northern Haven assisted living project ten years ago and quickly realised that whilst technology is set to play a big part in our ability to age well at home, it is the social interactions and support from the community which older people and their families need in order to really age in the best way possible. It is fantastic that ALONE, who have such expertise in the area of supporting older people to age at home, is taking our services and growing them to support more and more older people throughout the North East.”

Since 2007, over 1,500 individual older people in North Louth have been supported Netwell CASALA services with a further 300 older people receiving a weekly phone call from the Good Morning Louth phone service.

Support services for older people include: befriending visits, Good Morning Louth befriending telephone service, social support services, housing services and social clubs, events and outings. Referrals can be made with the permission of the older person by a family member, friend, neighbour, HSE or Gardaí.

If you would like any further details on the support services offered to older people in the North East, please go to www.alone.ie or phone Pat Kerins on 042 93 70361. For further information on the Netwell CASALA research programmes please go to www.netwellcasala.org.