Project Description

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6. Communication and Information

Accessing information continues to be a challenge for older people in Carlow and is common in all areas of the strategy, Housing, Transport, Public Participation etc. National TV is the most common way in which older adults receive information at 82%, with 66% accessing information through newspapers. Local radio at 59% in Carlow is lower than the national average of 77%. 52% of those over 55 use the internet which is higher than the national average of 48%.
In Carlow as in other counties over 55% of people over 70 do not use the internet; however of those who do 80% use it to access information and news. If we examine the 55-69 age group only 17% do not use the internet with a lesser dependence on landlines, Parish Newsletters, Community Notice boards and
Citizens Information. Nationally more than 61% of people aged 55-65 have low literacy skills and some have low numeracy skills.

 Issues that older adults raised

“Carlow Train station is unhelpful, timetable is impossible to read, very bad communication from Irish Rail”.

“A monthly Pop up Café with information just for older people would be good like Mensana”

“HSE and other agencies need to provide information for people who cannot read”.

“Council needs to clearly sign where Age Friendly Parking is”.

“A weekly column in the Nationalist by older people for older people”

“Make it easier to contact service not just an automated machine”

Short Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum aims to set up an age friendly, easily accessible website for all older persons, which will contain details of the age friendly strategy and its goals, all services, activities and events of interest to the older person and annual updates and reports of progress etc.

Carlow Volunteer Centre as part of its communication plan is committed to developing and expanding its use of traditional media as a means of engaging with older adults. Carlow Volunteer Centre has increased its coverage in local newspapers in 2016. For the lifetime of this plan Carlow
Volunteer Centre plans to engage more with local radio and parish newsletters as a means of communicating with members of the public and older adults in particular. Carlow Volunteer Centre actively promotes across all media volunteering by people of all ages.

An Garda Síochána in their weekly and monthly local radio contribution will include one item of interest for older adults including driving conditions, behaviours towards older drivers and other areas of interest. 90% of older adults listen to the local radio and this medium will be used to
maximise ongoing policing message.

An Garda Síochána will also engage in a “Know your Neighbourhood Garda” road show, which will be a targeted community engagement with 10-15 Gardai visiting and introducing themselves to communities. This will increase trust and confidence by lessening the fear of crime.

The Health Service Executive, Health & Wellbeing Division will support the roll out of “Making Every Contact Count- MECC” which is an approach to behaviour change which will use the thousands of day to day interactions that the Health Service Executive and other organisations have with people to encourage behaviour change and have a positive effect on health, such as smoking cessation and alcohol reduction.

Kilkenny Carlow Education Training Board is committed to providing information and education programmes information in an age friendly format.

The Health Service Executive will design and produce a new patient leaflet for primary care teams in order to enhance knowledge of services and awareness of how to access Health Service Executive Primary Care services i.e. Public Health Nurse, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy.

Carlow County Development Partnership will continue to inform older people through Care and Repair, parish newsletters and mainstream media. Carlow County Development Partnership will continue to support Carlow Older Persons Forum in their communication strategy, written, oral and on line.

The Health Service Executive will continue the roll-out and development of and #Little Things Campaign, to promote positive mental health.

County Carlow Museum will continue to provide their services in an Age Friendly way as outlined in their Age Friendly Charter including providing high contrast of colours on information panels for ease of reading.

The Arts Officer will ensure that a basic effective communication system reaches people of all ages and all on line content is updated and user-friendly.

The Health Service Executive will co-coordinate through SAGE briefing sessions in the Carlow area on the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015. The ADM (Capacity) Act 2015, passed into law in December 2015, is the statutory duty to use a human rights based approach to support decision making. This legislation has implications for a broad range of professionals, frontline service providers, voluntary and community organisations and businesses.

The Chief Superintendant of An Garda Síochána will assign an Older Person’s Champion within the force who can be a touch point for older adults and their groups.

Health Promotion will work with library Services and other stakeholders to provide educational and information support about health and wellbeing and work to ensure maximum dissemination of promotional material and information on National Screening Services such as Breast, Cervical and Bowel Screening as well as glaucoma for diabetics.

Carlow Library service will actively communicate information on services, facilities and programming in a strategic and focused manner including:-
Update community information notice boards regularly with Age Friendly information and library services. Highlight and promote library services using relevant organisations. Make staff aware of the needs of older people and the services they require from library space. Circulate information highlighting appropriate events and services to all active retirement groups in the county. Visit some Carlow town and county active retirement groups to detail services. Provide weekly updates on events and services through parish notes / local notes / local radio.  Display posters / flyers in parish centres countywide
Develop a section on their website to provide links to relevant sites whose focus will be on older people.

The Community Section of Carlow County Council will widely distribute information on a regular basis in a suitable format including texting rather than just other social media formats.

Kilkenny & Carlow Contact Befriending Service are committed to distributing information and giving support to older people on any issue which may support them to live independently in their own home and community.

St. Catherine’s Community Service Centre, Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre, Forward Steps Tullow and others will provide computer training to older people who have never used the internet to allow them access services online under the Digital Skills for Citizens programme.

An Garda Síochána will launch an Age Friendly Text Alert System in consultation with Carlow’s Older Persons Forum.

Short-Term Actions ( 2017 )

Medium Term Actions ( 2017 )

Medium Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum aims to collaborate with public bodies and service providers to make their services more age friendly, particularly those who use technology to engage with and communicate information to older people. The Older Persons Forum aims to advise them in relating to older people and their needs.

Carlow Older Persons Forum supported by Carlow Citizens Information Service and Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) aims to address the significant problem that older people have accessing information on rights and money issues and concerns of privacy in relation to such matters and encourage older people to use these services.

Carlow County Development Partnership will pilot a text information service to all OPF members to be expanded subject to outcomes.

The Health Service Executive will introduce measures to promote a better understanding of dementia including modifiable risk factors and work with partners to ensure that the stigma sometimes associated with the condition is reduced.

The Health Service Executive will work in partnership with the National Dementia Office to map existing services within Carlow/Kilkenny and the wider Community Health Organisation (CHO5, Carlow/ Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and South Tipperary). This information will be used to inform the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy, with specific focus on integrated services, supports and care for people with dementia and their carers. The data will also inform service planning and assist in developing a directory of dementia specific services in every county. It will also provide a baseline from which to conduct further research into dementia specific services available in the community.

Long Term Actions ( 2017 )

The Age Friendly Committee will ensure that there is an Age Friendly Communication Strategy in all service providers and stakeholders in Carlow town and county.

Carlow County Development Partnership will support the Carlow Older Persons Forum to develop and design their own age friendly website, produce their own publications and use technology to reach those experiencing isolation.

Corporate Services section of the Local Authority will support all publicity campaigns of the Carlow Age Friendly Committee across the lifetime of this strategy.

Long Term Actions ( 2017 )