Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Monaghan County Council and Monaghan County Development Board launched the Monaghan Age Friendly County Initiative on September 2011. The initiative was endorsed by the County Manager and a Project Manager was appointed from the staff of the Monaghan Community & Enterprise Department. Following ratification by the Council members and the CDB a Strategic Alliance was formed and the voice of older people sought. The process passed an historical milestone with the signing of the Dublin Declaration in September 2011. Extensive County Consultations have been held along with a number of smaller focus groups, one to one meetings and surveys.
What did Older People tell us:
Across all of the eight strategic themes (as outlined by the World Health Organization) a number of issues emerged including:
- Safety & Security,
- Isolation & Loneliness,
- Access to Health services
However overall, transport and information emerged as the common barrier to any kind of engagement. As Monaghan is a rural county these issues were especially prevalent. The profile also highlighted that Monaghan has an ‘older-old’ population.
How has the County responded:
Following extensive consultation as well as a series of one to one meetings with each individual Alliance members the Monaghan Age Friendly strategy was presented to the Alliance and officially launched by the Minister of State. Key highlights across the implementation period were:
Transport: A multi stakeholder working group was establish to examine ways in which transport resources could be used more effectively to connect older people. Changes to bus routes to Our Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, bus shelters in specific locations and additional routes for dementia patients to Day Care are some of the key outcomes.
Three post graduate students have recently conducted in depth studies of the issues affecting older people across safety & security, isolation & loneliness and access to health care. Recommendations have been made and are to be adopted by the Alliance stakeholders.
Health services: A Manager for Older People was appointed by the HSE as part of its commitments to the strategy. A Medical Assessment Unit was created at Cavan General Hospital and a 16 short stay unit was introduced, to coincide with a programme called ‘Service Without Walls’, which focuses on patient centric care pathways.
For more detailed information on these and the other commitments / actions please refer to the Monaghan Age Friendly County Strategy