Social Engagement Programme - Older Persons
Date du début: 30 août 2015,
Date de fin: 30 août 2016
Background to Organisation - Friends of the Elderly was established in 1980 to tackle social isolation among the elderly population of Dublin. The charity provides a number of programmes to over 550 elderly. Social isolation among the elderly has become an increasing problem in Ireland with over 44% of older people 85+ are living alone. Social engagement has been identified as a means to improve the health & wellbeing of the Elderly as many reports have documented. The social engagement & physical activity project is a low cost initiative which is sustainable is managed properly. These programmes have been shown to benefit the cognitive ability and enhance mental & physical health of older people.
Context/background to Project - A comprehensive review of our services was conducted with our elderly members and there was an overwhelming positive response to our social club and this prompted a further study with the current members of the group to see what other activities they would like to improve their engagement with their community. At the same time the EVS volunteers reviewed the EVS project and suggested changes to the programme to incorporate this request from our elderly. A social Engagement Project was devised for the EVS & Elderly which incorporates all the learning for the elderly survey & the EVS review.
Object of the Project
to provide a non formal learning environment where our volunteers will learn about aging issues, social engagement, event planing & management, IT skills, research techniques, communication & linguistic skills, office management skills, Irish social & cultural services, innovation & creative skills, inter-generational issues.
To encourage EVS volunteers to make a positive contribution in tackling social isolation that our elderly members feel.
To promote social inclusion, well-being & independence of older people and our EVS volunteers
To help our elderly reconnect to resources in their community and engage with people young & old
To develop & promote health attitudes towards aging among our volunteers
To provide a community entertainment programme for older people which will be run by the elderly & the EVS volunteers and which will enhance their lives
To provide a safe environment for both our volunteers and our elderly members.
To provide an international & inter-generational dimension to the programme, in the past our European volunteers have introduced our elderly to their culture, food entertainment, so too our EVS can learn cultural, historical 7 life learning from our older members
Profile & no. of Participants - there are currently 140 members in our club with regular attendances of between 50/60 members at an activity. On average any 60+ can join the club but some exceptions are made if the person is deemed very isolated. The EVS volunteers are assisted by other volunteers who may be from different cultural backgrounds or who may have a disability. The Erasmus+ EVS volunteers will coordinate the activities at the club, there are slots for the EVS to bring fresh new ideas for the elderly to try.
Activities - Entertainment programme which will enhance the social contact of our elderly members, this will involve organising and managing on going activities and introducing new activities in areas the EVS volunteers have a special interest in. These could include music, dancing, art, cultural events, walks, day trips or inter-generational projects. It will also involve meet and befriending certain elderly in their own homes, updating newsletters and website of the events and assisting in our charity shop from time to time.
Methodology - Each year a review of our services to our elderly members is conducted and the outcome of the survey guides our service development. Our elderly members are given a say in our programmes and we are guided by their opinions. At the same time the EVS are asked before they leave to review the project and to make suggestions on how to improve it and this too guides us on how to develop or change an EVS project.
Participants - Learning objectives have been achieved and the volunteers have received their Youthpass. A number of our previous volunteers have acquired employment or have went on to do further studies. Some of our volunteers have changed career path altogether to the Health care field following their time with FOEI. Many of the volunteers still keep in touch with the organisation and visit us when they are in the country. The EVS volunteer have made new friends and keep in touch with other EVS volunteers. Our organisation is proud of the contribution the EVS volunteers have made and they make an important contribution to our organisation.
Members - Increased membership in the club, increased awareness of our organisation & programme. Our aim is to improve the health outcomes of our elderly members and to enhance their live in their community and to make new friends. Many of our elders have also made new friends.
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