Making Skerries a better place in which to live, work and grow old
In 2013, Fingal County Council, in association with Age Friendly Ireland, selected Skerries as the town in which to pilot the Age Friendly Town process in Fingal. This was something that Skerries Community Association had been wanting to do for many years.
The aim is to make Skerries a better place in which to live, work and grow old. As part of the process, a number of activities were carried out in the town including:
- A walkability study
- Consultation days with older adults and service providers
- An audit of signage in the town
- Participation in the “Business of Aging” programme on the part of Skerries Chamber of Commerce and Prosper Fingal.
Feedback from the consultation was used to develop an action plan for the town which includes:
- The upgrade and enhancement of the Town Park making it more accessible for all.
- Roll out of OPRAH (Older People Remaining at Home) initiative by the HSE.
In conjunction with the HSE 26 people are being cared for in their own homes by the provision of extra care services. This is organised by the District Nurse, the patient’s doctor and the HSE.
- Roll out of befriending programmes to alleviate social isolation.
Crosscare are organising visits to people’s home once a week for a chat for an hour where people have indicated the need for such a visit. Both the client and the visitor are visited by Crosscare first and the visitor is Garda vetted. There were 17 volunteers in August 2015, and Cross Care were in the process of getting more volunteers.
- Setting up of, and support for, Carers’ Meetings in association with the Carers’ Association.
Carers meet regularly in Skerries Mills. See The Carer’s Association
- “Message in a Bottle” Initiative
This project, launched with the support of Skerries Fire Brigade, helps to save the emergency services valuable time identifying someone in difficulty. It is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to the user, their carer, and their family. A white plastic bottle with specific markings has been given to older people, especially those living alone. The idea is that their medicines and other important next-of-kin details are in the bottle and the emergency services will search for the bottle automatically
- Making Skerries more accessible to older people:
In conjunction with the Liaison Committee two seats have been placed in Strand Street.A walkability study was done with a number of people to identify hazards and some repairs were carried out and some more need identifying to the Council.
- Older people and hospitals:
The Fingal Alliance group and the Skerries group attended a meeting with Beaumont hospital with a view to making it more user friendly.
The vantastic bus to the hospitals is working well. You do need to register first and then book your seat on time 5 euro each way.
- Provision of information on services and social clubs.
An information Pack was launched in August 2014 and will be distributed to all of the established estates in the hope to reach will get most of the older people.
The information pack is also available in Skerries Library and in the Citizens Information Office, New Street, as well as at Reception in our Community Centre.
Citizens Information in New St are updating their local file of information in addition to all the other information and will be happy to help with Age Friendly information. It is our aim to have a full internet-enabled data base for everyone in Skerries when we get more resources.
Skerries Age Friendly Committee
The committee is working on addressing a number of the action items above and currently focuses on:
- Building and maintaining a database of all services available in Skerries (for everyone including the over 55s).
- Promoting and facilitating greater inclusion in the social, cultural and sporting life in Skerries on the part of older adults.
- Building up and maintaining a network of older people who can be contacted in person or via the phone as well as via online or print means.
We are doing the above in partnership with FCC (Eithne Mallin) who is coordinating the delivery of other age friendly services in Skerries by a number of organisations.
FCC is supporting us by providing information about sources of funding and useful contacts etc. The committee is part of The Skerries Community Association Ltd.
If you or someone you know would like to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Mary & Brendan at email@example.com