Project Description

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5. Social Participation

Social participation in Carlow is l ower than the national average with 36% participating in community groups at least one a month v 49% nationally (The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, T I L DA 2014). When we investigated this, older people in Carlow told us that the social activities in Carlow do not interest them; this was reported by 37% of survey participants.

25% said the cost of activities was too high and a further 25% said they could not get to the venue where the activity was taking place. 32% attended an active retirement or sports group on a weekly basis while 61% of those surveyed met with family and friendly weekly.

Issues raised by older adults

“Activities are not advertised enough, and transport is difficult”
“Taxi from Sue Ryder in to Carlow is €8.00 this is too much”.
“Ring-a-Link is not always available you have to register and it only runs at certain times which does not always suit socialising”.
“The cinema is so cold in the afternoons when offers are on”
“Parking is still an issue especially at the train station its €4 and sometimes there is no parking available”.
“Active retirements groups are very good, so are Men’s Sheds but we need one in Borris”

Short Term Actions ( 2017 )

Short Term Actions (2017)
Carlow Older Persons Forum supported by Carlow County Development Partnership, Carlow Regional Youth Service and Carlow Men’s Shed will run an intergenerational cross-cultural “adopt a granny and granddad programme” so that older generations through hand-written letters, may interact with and communicate with school children who do not have grandparents and also improve respect and understanding across the generations.

Kilkenny & Carlow Contact Befriending Service will continue to recruit volunteer Befrienders with a particular focus on those over 70 living alone in rural areas supported by Public Health Nurses and other service providers.

Carlow Volunteer Centre plays a central role in the social participation of older adults,by supporting members of the public including older adults seeking to volunteer, helping them to identify volunteer opportunities suitable for them and referring them to the volunteering organisation. Follow up contact is provided. In addition, Carlow Volunteer Centre promotes social participation of older adults as volunteers are referred to volunteering organisations that support social participation. These include but are not limited to Kilkenny & Carlow Contact, Day Care Centres (different locationMeals on Wheels, St. Fiacc’s House Sue Ryder Foundation Volunteer Management Training is also available for organisations that depend on volunteers. Carlow Volunteer Centre has successfully supported the referral and placement of Transition Year students from St. Leo’s College in St. Fiacc’s House Griaguecullen as part of the
Enrichment programme. St. Fiacc’s house has and continues to be a hub of intergenerational conversation, learning and fun between young students and older
adults with the support of Carlow Volunteer Centre and St. Leo’s College.

The Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board, Community Education Facilitator will continue to work with older peoples groups to identify and meet their training needs within budgetary constraints.

The Health Service Executive will promote and empower older people to remain socially engaged within their own community through existing structures, processes and networks.

County Carlow Local Sports Partnership will work with Age & Opportunity to organise Go for Life Games, Go for Life Sports Taster and Go for Life Physical Activity Leader Training. They will also conduct an audit of Indoor Bowls clubs, identify issues arising and offer support where appropriate.

County Carlow Local Sports Partnership will develop walking, swimming, cycling for all age groups and taster sessions for particular sports that aid functional fitness e.g. indoor rowing. They will also support and collaborate with local clubs to promote Age Friendly sports clubs – a particular focus for 2017 will be to link with the Health & Wellbeing Officers in the local GAA clubs and the GAA County Board.

Health Promotion within the Health Service Executive will link with the library service, and community organisations in promoting, recruiting for and delivering programmes to older adults such as Age & Opportunity’s Taking Stock and Ageing with Confidence 8 week programmes, both in Carlow town and in rural settings.

Carlow County Development Partnership will continue to inform older people of activities/training etc. through Care and Repair, company website, PPN newsletter and the Older Persons Forum. Carlow County Development Partnership will outreach in partnership with other agencies.

Short-Term Actions ( 2017 )

Medium Term Actions ( 2017 )

Medium Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum assisted by Carlow County Development Partnership aims to reach out to older persons, particularly older men, living in rural areas of Carlow, provide them with necessary information and links to service providers, promote the benefits of active participation in the community and encourage more social participation, while reducing social exclusion and loneliness.

Kilkenny Carlow Contact Befriending Service will work with the Carlow Older Persons Forum, community groups and voluntary agencies in Carlow to facilitate access for older people to participate in social activities which they have identified as being of interest to them.

Long Term Actions ( 2017 )

Carlow Older Persons Forum will continue to promote and encourage growth of services and activities for older people, participation in active retirement
programmes, and new countywide initiatives for older people in Carlow.

Carlow County Development Partnership will conduct research to establish the incidence of social exclusion and participation in Carlow town and county.

Long Term Actions ( 2017 )