The Minister for Older People visited the charity’s head office today
Dublin, 27th February 2019 The Minister for Older People, Jim Daly, today visited the office of ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, to meet with the team bringing BConnect assistive technology to older people.
Developed to support older people to continue living independently for longer, ALONE will roll out their technology to more than 270 older people this year, with a focus on rural areas.
The app and technology enables older people to stay linked in with support services, self-monitor their health and activity, and feel secure and supported in their home. The technology includes ALONE’s BWell app, home sensors, a smart watch and alarm button.
Speaking from the visit to ALONE this morning, Minister Daly said, “I am delighted to see such innovation inspired to help Ireland’s older people. The pioneering work of ALONE in this area is going a long way to help change the future of independent living as we age and I look forward to the feedback from the initial rollout.”
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “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.”
Moynihan continued, “Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a range of technology that provides impactful support and remains accessible to all those using the technology, from the older person, their family and support workers.”
BConnect is developed by ALONE in partnership with Netwell CASALA and with support from the Social Innovation Fund’s THINKTECH grant. It is the first platform of its kind which ties together the older person, volunteers, family and healthcare professionals through one data management system. ALONE hopes that BConnect will revolutionise ageing at home and in the community.
The technology will shortly be rolled out to a group of 60 older people living in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon with funding received under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2018.
The BConnect platform has already won the first ever FreedomTech Award 2017 at a conference on assistive technology. Dublin. The FreedomTech Assembly was run by Enable Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI).
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01 668 0600/087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, email@example.com, 01 668 0600
2.1.4 Effective utilisation of technology to support older people to live in their communities