Housing support project reaches out to older people in Armagh and Dungannon
24/03/2014Fifty older people across Armagh and Dungannon are set to benefit from the newly formed Housing Support for Older People project across the region.
The project, provided by Belfast Central Mission (BCM) in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, is funded by the Housing Executive. It will help older people live independently in their own homes by offering services such as practical measures to increase safety and security, emotional support and help with maintaining tenancies.
To access the service older people or their families can contact the project directly. A referral can also be made by any community or hospital based health and social care staff or any other agency working with older people.
Brian Burns, Director of BCM, said: “Since the start of the Housing Support for Older People project in Belfast in 2007 we have helped nearly 400 older people to live independently in their own homes. The expansion of the project into Armagh and Dungannon will see up to 50 older people at any one time benefit from this service right across the region.
“With all the recent negative news about the impact on the elderly in relation to care home provision, this is a timely and necessary expansion so that we can help those over 60 years of age to live full and independent lives in familiar surroundings.
“As a charity, BCM has been supporting people across Northern Ireland for 125 years and will continue to do so, particularly those most vulnerable in society. BCM’s Housing Support project is a great example of how we as a third sector organisation are taking practical steps to progress the Transforming Your Care agenda from government in relation to older people”.
Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, adds: “We are delighted to partner with Belfast Central Mission in delivering this scheme. They are an expert provider, with quality accreditation, and are already running a similar scheme in Belfast. We have a similar scheme in Kilkeel which provides support to around 40 older people, and we know how valuable that support is to them.
“Older people have made their views clear. They want to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible. One of the Trust’s values is being a good social partner, and today’s event demonstrates how this is working on the ground to support people to remain in their own homes by offering housing related support.”
Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, Councillor Sean McGuigan, who launched the expanded service at Ranfurly House in Dungannon said: “There’s no place like home, for many older people just a little support means that they can remain at home in familiar surroundings and most importantly where they want to be. I welcome the Housing Support for Older People scheme and encourage local people to avail of the services on offer.”
The Housing Executive’s Mary McDonnell welcomed the new service commenting: “The Housing Executive is delighted to fund this project in Armagh and Dungannon through our Supporting People Programme on behalf of the Department for Social Development.
“Research tells us that most older people want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Indeed helping people to live as independently as possible in their own homes is at the core of the Housing Executive’s work. By working in partnership with Belfast Central Mission, and other voluntary organisations, we can help supply the extra help to people in their own homes to achieve this goal.”
At the launch of BCM’s Housing Support for Older People service in Armagh and Dungannon are Leona Larkham, Project Manager, HSOP Armagh and Dungannon; Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive, Southern Health and Social Care Trust; Councillor Sean McGuigan, Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council; Mary McDonnell, Senior Principal Officer, Supporting People; and Brian Burns, Director, BCM