Posted on November 20, 2018
A Donor Advised Fund at The Community Foundation for Ireland has provided a significant grant to Third Age Foundation for their initiative AgeWell and will continue to provide funding for the project for the next three years.
Ireland, like much of Europe, is facing changing demographics. If we continue as we are, by 2030, close to 1/6th of Ireland’s GDP will be spent on the care needs of our older population. There is a necessity to invest in innovative solutions that will address the care needs of a growing older population, that will provide a more effective support service to enable older people to remain in their own homes longer, and that will ultimately reduce the cost of care to the state. Third Age Foundation know that given the choice older people elect to live in in their own home for as long as possible - AgeWell allows this to happen. By combining peer-based social engagement with mobile technology it improves health outcomes and well-being among older people and has the added a benefit of reducing the cost of care of older people to the state.
AgeWell does the following:
- Reduces loneliness and isolation
- Engages able older people (aged 50+) as AgeWell companions who provide social engagement through home visits and phone calls to less able older people who have been referred to the programme through the Irish Health system.
- Using mobile health technology, AgeWell deploys a health screening tool to identify and address evolving health, social and environmental concerns in their client base before they escalate into more serious health issues.
Providing services in the context of an ageing society and limited public resources is a significant social and economic challenge. Older adults consume a disproportionate share of healthcare spending and their percentage of the population is expanding rapidly, putting pressure on healthcare systems, social services and families. In many cases expensive residential care is the only option for older people (costing the state over €1 billion per annum for less than 5% of the older population) and is often against the wishes of the person involved, who would prefer to stay in his / her home for as long as possible.
Third Age believe, as our population ages, that this model of care is unsustainable and greater options are required – by 2030, if we continue as we are, estimates are that the cost will amount to over 1/6 of our total GDP. A new model is needed, one that involves supporting older people to stay as long as possible in their homes, that reduces the burden of cost on the state and that utilises technology and introduces a model of care that is supportive, caring and within the community.
The grant for Third Age highlights the forsight and solution driven focus that many of The Community Foundation for Ireland's donors have. By providing large, multi-annual grants organisations can start to tackle systematic problems at their root cause. Philanthropy in our current climate is more about writing cheques, it is looking at social issues at the core and working with organisations to provide innovative solutions. The Community Foundation for Ireland has a working relationship with over 4,000 community and voluntary organisations in Ireland. We empower people who want to make a difference through a model of strategic giving which is effective and delivers.We connect the generosity of donors with the energy, ideas and time of people in the community.
Every year, through the generous support of our donors, we fund hundreds of innovative projects – large and small – in areas such as homelessness, children and youth issues, older people, women’s issues, health, ethnic minorities and LGBT+.