Wexford County Council is actively supporting a number of initiatives designed to assist older citizens living in our county, particularly throughout the Covid 19 public health emergency.
The Council has recently partnered with Wexford Home Instead Senior care and a generous local benefactor who has sponsored 50 GrandPad Tablets for cocooning older people in the county. Technology can play an important role in reducing loneliness and isolation, enabling older adults to stay connected with loved ones and their caregivers, allowing them to live independently at home while following guidelines for avoiding exposure to the virus.
With built-in 4G connectivity, the Grandpad tablet comes complete with apps designed for older adults. The large, clearly labelled icons mean that video and voice calls, photos, email, music, games, news, weather and search functionality are easily accessed from the screen. The system also has an “auto answer” feature that can be enabled to allow calls from approved family members to automatically ring through, making the system more user friendly to answer calls, texts or emails.
The two way video functionality has proven invaluable for users during Covid 19. The recipients of this initiative are “delighted” “I just love it” “It has changed my life “ with their Grandpads.
The Wexford Community Call helpline has been a very successful initiative during the public health emergency. The service is available seven days per week between the hours of 9.00am and 5.00pm, with County Council volunteers working alongside local Voluntary Groups to provide a vital link between older citizens and the services they need including deliveries of grocery shopping and pharmacy items, or maybe just a friendly ear for the person living in isolation.
Wexford County Council Library Service set up the Book Call delivery service so that people who are unable to physically visit a library, can still enjoy their favourite books while they are spending more time at home. The service has been very well received to date, with over 421 deliveries of over 2,318 library books, audiobooks or DVDs to customers.
Sports Active Wexford, which is operated through Wexford County Council, has put together a number of audio and visual aids for older adults who wish to stay fit while staying at home. A number of podcasts and videos have been created, demonstrating exercises aimed at varying fitness levels – from the very active to those who wish to keep moving at a gentler pace. They are linking in with bodies including the GAA to showcase a wide range of activities to participate in safely from home. The Couch to 3k campaign was quickly oversubscribed, with over 150 people registering on the first day.
Advertisements and podcasts have also been placed in the local press on the radio to inform our wider community of the resources available to keep fit and healthy during Covid 19. We are actively encouraging relatives and neighbours of older citizens to keep in touch with them to help them utilise online resources, where they may need a little additional assistance.
Wellbeing resources have become increasingly important during the current pandemic. We are mindful that older people cocooning may need access to information on wellbeing supports. Our recently appointed Healthy County Coordinator working in collaboration with the Health County Committee has been actively highlighting resources available at national and local level.
The Community Resilience Forum group meets regularly to ensure no-one is left out of the current strategies to help Wexford and its’ citizens recover from the impact of COVID 19.
Wexford County Council continues to provide access to government and local links catering for personal wellbeing. This is done through our website, on our social media links, through regular radio interviews and newspaper advertising.
We are here to support our older citizens during these difficult times, on the phone, online and out in the community. The Community Call phone number and our Customer Service Desk can be reached by dialling is 05391 96000.
Because We’re All In This Together.
For more supports click here to visit our #WexfordTogether page.