It is widely known that social isolation and loneliness can be felt at any age.
Personal security is an issue for all of us and the need for human contact is vital for everyone’s health and wellbeing.
Maintaining independence and quality of life is of key importance to people over the age of 65 years.
Staff associated with the Good Morning Service organisation assist and support many people who are isolated, lonely, vulnerable and fearful.
However, they also support and assist those who are quite content living alone and are leading full and active lives.
Working collaboratively with all statutory, Voluntary and Community agencies to deliver responsive supports to enable people to remain living active and independent lives in their communities, and for those who are more vulnerable or have mobility difficulties to ensure they receive the homecare they need to maintain a good quality of life and wellbeing.
Supported by Core funding from the HSE Older Peoples Service, the Good Morning Service offers free and confidential support to people in Donegal, the service involves local volunteers making a regular phone call to people aged over sixty, so as to ensure they are safe and well.
The calls are made at an agreed time and can be daily or once a week, depending on the client’s needs and preferences.
Since being established in Inishowen in 2006 we have expanded the service into five other areas across the county.
The Service works in partnership with local community organisations, who host our service within their facilities.
Our centre in Falcarragh serves the North West; the Donegal Town centre covers the South West; Letterkenny serves Central and North Donegal; Burtonport serves the Rosses area; while Lifford covers the east of the county.
The calls are made by trained and Garda checked local volunteers who live in the area and have local knowledge, information and news to impart to the Client, a trusted and friendly voice making that vital human connection on a daily basis.
Befriending and Dementia Befriending
In Inishowen, we provide a befriending scheme that matches a volunteer with an individual who feels isolated, lonely or vulnerable; the volunteer provides companionship, friendship and a supportive relationship that elevates the effects of isolation and loneliness.
The client is encouraged where possible to participate in community events or social activities, supported by the volunteer in many cases.
We also have a dementia specific befriending service where we befriend someone with the condition; they visit once a week giving their full time carer a few hours respite.
Addressing rural isolation through county-wide support and advocacy:
Alongside the regular phone call support, the Good Morning Service advocates for older people and refers clients to health services and any other organisation that may be of help in relation to each individual’s concerns.
• We provide clients with information on their rights and entitlements
• Listen to their views to establish their wishes
• Discuss options with them
• Provide support and assistance in making informed choices
• Empower clients to make decisions that affect their lives
• Support clients in the actions they wish to take to resolve their concerns
• We act on the clients behalf if they request our assistance
• We participate in all forums where the voice of our service users can be heard and recognised
• We produce and deliver a quarterly newsletter to clients
The Service offers assistance and support with any issue the client is facing acts as intermediaries with other service providers.
Advocates on older people’s issues; provides advice and information about services; and actively resolves everyday issues and difficulties that impact on the health and wellbeing of older people in Donegal.