Responding to the opportunities and challenges of ageing in Ireland
AgeWell SeniorLine Failte Isteach
Navigating your Work Future Digital Skills Third Age – Summerhill
Third Age (‘The Third Age Foundation) has been developing innovative programmes in Ireland since 1988, emphasising the importance of community and family, and the value of older people in our society. Through our network of services, our volunteers, staff and partners work to identify issues, provide creative solutions and opportunities, and meet the needs of people in their third age. With the outbreak of Covid-19, The Third Age team – managers, volunteers and staff – have moved to adapt what we do in each service programme to ensure continuity of service and to provide new solutions for a changed time.
Continuity and Contact:
We have refocused all our programmes in order to continue to provide support, while following the public health guidelines to minimise the risk to our older clients and staff.
This has meant a fast and efficient switch to new methods of service delivery adapted to the current crisis. We have prioritised support, advice, guidance and practical assistance across all our programmes. Our partners in the age and community sector have responded to the challenge in equal measure. Our experience and track-record enables us to maintain our services and standards.
Across all programmes we are working with the health, social, emotional and psychological needs of older people, and our services are responding to their new needs in the light of the current – and ever changing – health and social situation. Every Third Age programme is now devoted to this end, offering maximum support to the state. Please find details below:
Third Age Services
Senior Line Our telephone Helpline service has 180 trained volunteers, operating 7 days a week, from 10am – 10am. In the last week alone we have seen an increase of 200% of calls, mainly dealing with stress, anxiety and isolation. We are working to increase lines and to increase the times of service from 8am to midnight. We issue twice daily Covid-19 updates to volunteers on other community supports, so that the information offered to callers is accurate and up-to-the-minute.
Our Freefone number is 1800 80 45 91.
AgeWell As home visits can no longer happen, we are providing support online. Each client will get a minimum of 2 calls per week. The 20 / 20 Health assessment, our early warning tool for the client’s health, will be conducted on these calls. All data will still be managed remotely by our Care Co-ordination team, who will ensure the client will be connected to the right care, in the right place, at the right time. We are working with our stakeholder in the US to re-purpose our Health monitoring App to be of greater service to the state in identifying clients with complaints that might be indicative of early Covid-19 infection.
Failte Isteach We have 1,250 trained tutors, connecting with over 4,000 migrant, refugee and asylum seeker families each week. Our groups are setting up online teaching groups through Zoom, Office Teams and WhatsApp. We have made all our resources free on-line and are providing weekly teaching materials / training ideas to remain connected and maintaining the vital conversations that build English language skills. We are also using our network to forward information from the HSE, the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Justice, helping our students understand what is happening in Ireland.
NYWF Navigate your Work Future, working in partnership with the global consulting firm, Accenture, began as a way of enabling older people (50+) to plan their working life. The supports include career coaching, interview preparation, networking and future work trend information. The priority has changed in the current climate, and we are harnessing our network and Accenture’s expertise to provide a suite of on-line supports including Digital skills and their Skills 2 Succeed Academy. We are also being used by the Department of Social Protection to disseminate critical information rapidly to those who have lost or at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the crisis.
Third Age HQ Our Headquarters in Summerhill, co-located with the Health Centre and Pharmacy, is now working virtually. We are leading the community-based volunteer support system for our members and older people in the area. We are keeping in contact, organising delivery of shopping and medicines, and beginning to reframe a practical sense of community – of ‘cocooning’ – of vulnerable members of our communities. We have a growing database of older people and we have a rota in place to call each one twice a week. We are happy to extend this service to all who need it.Our phone number is 046 9557766
All our services continue to operate and to provide critical support to those most at risk from Covid-19. We have a passionate and committed staff, a strong reputation and wonderful support from teams of volunteers nationwide. We are determined to do what we can to minimise the impact on our older population and to be as much of a service to the state as possible.
Third Age has worked for over 30 years for social inclusion and to promote the contribution of everyone in society irrespective of age or gender. We have a track record of innovative responses to societal needs. We believe there is a part for everyone to play and at this time of global crisis, we will not be found wanting.