Older people with chronic illnesses to benefit from mPower project technology

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mPower Project Commences in Louth South Monaghan September 2018

Supporting older people to remain in their own homes and communities

Over 100 people attended a Community and Voluntary Organisation Engagement event at the D Hotel in Drogheda, to find out about and get involved in a new cross border EU INTERREG VA funded project called mPower. This project aims to support older people with long-term conditions or chronic illnesses to live well, safely and independently in their own homes. The mPower project will operate in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The learning event was organised by the HSE’s Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation.

Pat Bennett, Chief Officer of HSE CH08 opened the event. He spoke about his own experience of supporting aging relatives with chronic conditions to live well in their community and how important voluntary organisations are for enabling this transition.

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Top left : Clodagh Clerkin, Community Navigator and Danielle Monahan, mPower Implementation Lead, who helped organise the days events.

Top right : Rodd Bond (DKIT), Martina Ralph (Network Manager South Louth), Pat Bennet (Chief Officer Louth Meath Midlands CHO8), Eilish Cunniffe (Business Manager Office of Chief Officer LMM CHO), Dr Ann Coyle General Manager for Health and Wellbeing , Cathal Hand (Network Manager Monaghan)

Bottom Left : Sean Moynihan (CEO Alone)

Bottom right : Michelle Duffy (NHS)

It was attended by community and voluntary organisations and a wide range of health and social care professionals including GPs, primary care teams, managers, senior clinicians working with people with a long-term conditions, hospital and community representatives.

Attendees learned how the mPower project will support people to manage their health and access local support and community networks. Guest speakers delivered case studies demonstrating how social prescribing (when a person is referred to a local non-clinical service) has empowered older people to live more independent lives in Louth, how Technology Enabled Care practices are supporting older people to remain in their own homes for longer.

The project is targeting those over 65 years of age, living with long-term conditions or chronic illnesses within the Drogheda and Carrickmacross area. The two key aspects of the mPower project include reconnecting older people into community activities according to their interests and helping them manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and COPD using Apps and other monitoring tools.

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan, presented on how to build empowered and connected communities. He said “It is vital that older people are supported to live happily at home for as long as possible. By harnessing assistive technology and the power of volunteers, we are creating one point of contact to support older people regardless of their issue - whether it be housing, transport, food, company, or anything else. We can solve any of those issues that older people face in maintaining their independence. We are delighted to be working with mPower. We hope that by working together we can reduce the challenges older people face and enable them to age with confidence, security, and dignity”.  

Dr Conor O'Shea General Practioner Drogheda gave the closing remarks at the event and said “I am delighted that the Drogheda area will benefit from this innovative project and I look forward to seeing the new services implemented through a partnership approach for the benefit of older people in our communities”.

Dr Ann Coyle, General Manager for Health and Wellbeing in the Midlands Louth Meath Community Health Organisation said “mPower is an exciting new initiative for our area that will improve the health and social wellbeing of older people by connecting them to the range of supports in their local communities. We very much welcome the investment from the secured by the CAWT Partnership from the EU and plan to take this opportunity to test and implement new technologies to support older people in their own homes. The HSE has been working closely for several years with Dundalk Institute of Technology and Louth Local Authority in relation to improving the Health and Wellbeing of Older People in the region and this project will greatly enhance that process”.

Danielle Monahan mPower Implementation Lead said, “We’re looking forward to implementing mPower in partnership with local GPs, the community and voluntary sector and a wide range of other partners. The opportunities presented by this EU investment puts the older person at the centre of delivery and decision making which is very important for sustaining long term benefits to wellbeing and maintaining independence”.

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Guest speakers from the day from left to right : Alan O'Connor (Programme Manager mPower), Ann Marron (Cultacha), Morag Hearty (NHS)

Overall the mPower   project is valued at €8.7million, of which €3.5 million has been secured from the EU’s INTERREG VA programme for the border counties of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This allocation to the border areas has been secured by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) Health and Social Care Partnership and the project partners which are the HSE, and the Southern Health and Western Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Over the next 3 and half years mPower ‘Community Navigators’ will be employed to work with people referred from health and social care services to develop health and wellbeing plans, connecting them to activities in their community as well as to health and well-being technology designed for home and mobile use. Over the course of the project, across the three regions, mPower will support a total of 2,500 people through the development of wellbeing plans, and a total of 4,500 people through technology / eHealth interventions.

Please see mPower web site for further details: https://mpowerhealth.eu

Anybody seeking more information on the mPower project should contact:

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