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Using technology to help older people


Pictured at the launch of mPower cross border health project are (seated l to r): Michele Bekmez, Health and Social Care Board; Cara O'Neill, HSE; Edel O'Doherty, CAWT cross border health and Ann Coyle, HSE. Back row (l to r): Alan Connor, mPower Project Manager; Gerard Rocks, Southern Trust; Eddie Ritson, Public Health Agency; Gina McIntyre, the Special EU Programmes Body and Vincent Ryan, Western Trust.

A multi-million EU funded cross-border service for older people with one or more long term conditions aims to help them self-care at home using technology.

As part of the mPower health project €3.5 million has been allocated to the border counties of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, secured by the Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) Health and Social Care Partnership, and project partners, HSE, the Southern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts, the Public Health Agency and the Health and Social Care Board, through the Southern Integrated Care Partnerships.

The project will be delivered in border areas of the HSE in the Republic of Ireland and the Southern and Western Health and Social Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Funded by the EU’s Interreg VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programme Body, mPower aims to empower patients over the age of 65 to take control of their conditions at home by using technology, while simultaneously freeing up GPs and other healthcare professionals so they can treat more people.

This is one initiative involving Integrated Care Partnerships which is examining the role of social prescribing in helping older people over the age of 65.

Others include the IMPACT (Involving Many to Prescribe Alternative Care Together) programme which provides community-based care for frail older people in the Mid and East Antrim area, while a Western ICP initiative offers ‘social’ solutions to older people in the Western area who have social, emotional or practical needs