May 5, 2021

Getting Started Keep In Touch Update

GS KIT Update

Since March 2020, Ireland has experienced three major lockdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In regards to updates on our Getting Started Keep In Touch Programme, we have provided hard copy guides of our GS KIT programme to over 2,500 older people and our Covid Tracker App guide to 4,500 people. We are continuing to provide remote tutoring to older people in basic digital skills in order to keep them informed, connected and supported. To date, there has been 1,100 classes ongoing or completed since April 2020.

Our online materials are very popular and our wonderful volunteers are continuing to support our remote classes. Many of our volunteers are coming from the corporate sector through their CSR programme and we are working with over 25 corporates currently.

We will continue to provide our remote classes until a time that we can resume our face to face, one to one classes throughout the country. We do forsee that we will retain remote training for those who are unable, for whatever reason, to come to a face to face class.

We are looking to update our materials and to add to the suite of training resources available to the public.

Your continued support is vital and we are so appreciative of the good will and commitment that corporate volunteers have shown through these times. 

Links:

Jan 13, 2021

Care & Repair 2020 Report

The Care & Repair Programme provides DIY jobs to older people free of charge and a Trades Referral Service where a list of local tradesmen is available to older people for larger jobs. A Hospital Discharge Service has been piloted in Cork. It provides work in people’s homes which enables them to be discharged from hospital.

As part of Age Action Connect, Inform and Support response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Care & Repair was rebranded as HomeSafe in March, focussing on assisting older people who needed work done in their homes in order to be discharged from hospital and on work deemed essential for the health and wellbeing of older people during the pandemic.

The overarching aim was to assist older people who were required to remain at home due to public health restrictions and to contribute to the health services’ efforts to free up hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

Outputs and Outcomes:

Outputs:

The Care & Repair HomeSafe Covid-19 programme had protocols in place for each level of public health restrictions. Only “essential” services were provided during lockdown restrictions. Due to the commitment and dedication of staff and volunteers the service successfully met all such requests.

A total of 2,408 older people accessed the Programme in 2020.

  • DIY Service visits to 679 clients, during which we did 1,118 jobs requiring 1,197 hours of labour.
  • Hospital Discharge Service to 32 clients who were returning home from hospital. We did 79 jobs requiring 145 labour hours for these clients.
  • Trade referrals to 1,697 people who needed to employ professionals for larger jobs.

The hospital discharge service was launched in Dublin, having previously only been active in Cork. Five of the fourteen hospital discharge services provided during the period were in Dublin. The service will now continue to be available in Dublin.

Client Outcomes:

Feedback calls were conducted where our clients were asked about their experience with the Care & Repair/HomeSafe service, with the following outcomes reported;

Volunteer DIY jobs:

-          Completed in a timely manner: 100% Yes

-          Satisfied with service: 100% Yes

-          Service rating: 57% Excellent, 36% Very good, 7% Good, 0% poor or very poor

-          Age Action Rating: 52% Excellent, 43% Very good, 5% Good, 0% poor or very poor

-          Service helps to remain living at home: 82% Yes, 18% No

 

Hospital Discharge Service

Clients:

-          100% say service met needs

-          100% service carried out in timely manner

-          100% work completed to satisfaction

-          100% work made patients home safer or more comfortable

-          88% service enabled them to be discharged sooner. 12% didn’t know.

-          100% service helped them to remain living in their own home after discharge

-          100% rated service 5 out of 5

-          100% reported that they did not have any problems with service

 

Health Professionals:

-          100% say service met patient’s needs

-          100% service carried out in timely manner

-          100% work completed to patient’s satisfaction

-          100% work made patient’s home safer or more comfortable

-          100% service enabled patient to be discharged sooner

-          100% service helped patient to remain living in their own home after discharge

-          100% rated service 5 out of 5

-          100% reported that patient did not have any problems with service

 

The above outcomes are hugely positive, particularly for the volunteer DIY service with 100% satisfied, 97% rating the service as excellent or very good, 82% saying the service increased their ability to live at home and no negative feedback.

Hospital Discharge Service feedback was also universally positive, with 100% of clients and health professionals saying the service enabled an earlier discharge from hospital, made the home safer and more comfortable and helped the patient to remain living at home following discharge.

In one example of the Hospital Discharge Service, an Occupational Therapist contacted Age Action about a patient who was in hospital because she had stepped on an exposed nail on her staircase, contracted sepsis and lost an eye. The Home Safe team called and removed all exposed nails from the staircase to make it safe. This enabled the O.T. to secure funding for carpeting on the stairs and a Home Care Package so the patient could be discharged into a safe environment.

The O.T. contacted Age Action and said “Thanks so much. I met your volunteers today – they were most helpful and kind.  I struggled to get a lightbulb in over the landing after they left so they said that they might be able to meet me there again this afternoon after they’ve done some other jobs – going well above and beyond. Thanks for all your help. This is a very valuable service that will help us organise safer discharge plans for our most vulnerable patients.”

Client Comments

  • “It enabled Brendan to have his wish of coming home from hospital.”
  • "When they fixed my voicemail they cured me. I was very stressed about missing an important call from my doctor’s surgery. Please thank everyone in Age Action for their help”.
  • "Did a great job, was very nice and was in and out in 7/8 minutes. I feel a lot safer now that the chandelier won't fall on me. I’ll definitely be calling on Age Action for help in the future.”
  • "Age Action is great, I'm very happy with the service"
  • "Absolutely delighted with all the help from Age action. I get very lonely, so the TV/radio is vital, as is the help with setting them up"
  • “I would like to thank you for sending John to put up grips in my shower. He came very promptly and did a marvellous job. Thank you again I feel much safer now. I have recommended you and the great service you give to my friends.”

 

Health Professional Comments (having referred patients to Hospital Discharge Service)

  • “Wouldn’t have been able to discharge Mary at all as there was a huge amount to be done. If Age Action hadn’t done all of this work, they wouldn’t have had someone else to do it. Age Action’s service made discharge possible and safer.”
  • “It’s a great service. Would love to see more of it. It works very well for discharge as it saves the patients being put on long waiting lists.”
  • “Age Action were very efficient considering the fact that it was during Covid 19. (The volunteer) went out of his way to complete all of the jobs to a very high standard.
  • “Great service, hoping it continues”
Jan 4, 2021

Covid Tracker App Support

HSE and Age Action launch older-age friendly guide to COVID Tracker App


On Tuesday, 8th December 2020, the Health Service Executive and Age Action Ireland launched an older-age friendly guide – How to Use the COVID Tracker App.

The How to Use the COVID Tracker App has been designed by Age Action specifically for older people who need some support with online activities so they can use the App which helps to slow the spread of COVID-19. Understanding that a lot of older people are starting their online journey, the HSE worked with Age Action to add the How to Use the COVID Tracker App to the Getting Started KIT which helps older people get online so they can stay connected, informed and access resources.

The COVID Tracker App is a free app for mobile phones. The How to Guide helps someone to put the app on their mobile phone and use it. The How to Guide is free via post by calling Age Action on 01 873 0372 and leaving their name and address. The How to Guide can be downloaded from ageaction.ie.
Age Action will post the How to Use the COVID Tracker App along with step-by-step information on;
1.How to set up an email;
2.How to download an application;
3.How to download and use the COVID Tracker App;
4.How to use the internet.

If you would know anyone who would like a little more support to use the app or about using the internet Age Action can help them by matching with a volunteer tutor for up to five hours of remote tutoring.
Additional information on using the internet and technology can be found on https://www.ageaction.ie/how-we-can-help/getting-started-kit .

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