Limerick lifeline for the elderly is facing closure

first_img1,746 elderly patients waited over 24 hours in University Hospital Limerick ED in 2017 says Limerick TD Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up THE first programme of its kind in Europe, AgeWell Ireland, operated in conjunction with St Munchin’s Community Centre, provides companionship and friendship to people aged 60 and over who are experiencing isolation or loneliness.By pairing them with specially trained companions, who visit them on a weekly basis, the free service seeks to provide comfort and support to older adults who are experiencing chronic loneliness.Those availing of the service have reported a significant increase in their wellbeing after just four months. A series of assessments has found that there was a 33 per cent decrease in the number who described themselves as lonely and a rise of 63 per cent in their self-rated health.However, despite the success of the programme, it may cease to exist by the end of next month. Initially rolled out in 2017 on a nine-month trial basis, AgeWell Ireland has since received two extensions, the latest of which runs till March 31.There are currently no immediate plans to extend the scheme further, meaning the 70 elderly people who use it will no longer receive the weekly visits they have to come to rely on.Patricia is in her seventies and lives in Corbally. Since the death of her husband seven years ago she has become increasingly lonely, weekend visits from her working children and occasional calls from busy neighbours only partially helping to break the monotony. And although she had qualms about signing up to AgeWell six months ago, they have since been quelled.She was enrolled in the programme, much to her surprise, by her daughter: “’What are ye doing to me?’ I said. ‘How will I cope with a person coming in that I don’t know? What’ll I talk about?’”.Yet, upon meeting her carefully selected companion, Ann, those qualms were quickly alleviated: “I look forward to it,” she says when asked about the visits. “Ann rings to let me know when she’ll be around and I’m waiting for her when she comes.”Rena O’Brien, Anne Hourigan, Greg Ryan, Marion Moloney, Joan O’Dwyer, and Eileen Ryan; Limerick’s Age WellsBut what do they talk about, and how did she cope with a person coming in that she didn’t know?“There’s no plan. We talk about the sad things that are going on in the world. I enjoy Ann, I don’t feel anyway uncomfortable with her coming in and talking to her.”And the service works both ways. Ann Hourigan retired from her career as a nurse two and a half years ago. However, rather than enjoy her retirement, she sought out a new career, something which didn’t involve the stresses or strains of her previous profession.“When I got this job I thought, ‘there is a God, this is exactly what I’m looking for.’ Although she visits six clients per week, and speaks with them on the phone every day,Ann admits that being one of the Europe’s first Age Wells doesn’t really feel like a job, “when I was in the working world I was running from one person to the next, whereas this is a part of my life that has slowed down and I can slow down with my clients and give my time to them,” she says, adding, “I’ve built up such a rapport with my clients that even if we didn’t get funding I’d still keep in touch.”Designed to pair the elderly with like-minded companions, Age Well only employs those aged 55 and over.“It’s a peer-to-peer companionship programme,” explains Programme Manager, Carmel Boland,” it seems to work, our clients can identify with people who’d be in an age bracket to understand what they’re going through.”And the role isn’t just confined to those with previous experience in care support, the nine Age Wells come from all walks of life and receive specialist training before being paired with suitable clients.“Everybody has had quite intense training, they would have gone through the different situations they would have come up against. It’s helped establish some of the skills they needed to be able to take part in this type of work.”Carmel is quick to point out that this service addresses a need as yet unfulfilled by the public sector, “It’s not anything like home help, home care packages, that’s fulfilling a need around personal care, this is a different type of need that people would have identified, someone they can talk to about things that worry them.”This need for human interaction is quite stark in some of their clients explains Care Coordinator, Deirdre Hogan. She describes a client who regularly called the Dublin-based service, Alone, just so he’d have someone to talk to, staggering his calls over the course of a few hours so he wouldn’t speak to the same people: “He said it was like winning the Lotto when he discovered we were starting up this service here.”Although currently only operating in the city, Carmel is acutely aware of the need to extend the programme to include rural areas. Yet with a lengthy waiting list, and just nine Age Wells to go around, the emphasis for now is on giving as much time as possible to those already using the service.Her hope though, is that eventually the programme will be run on a national level: “There’s no reason why it can’t run nationally,” she says. And were it to run throughout the country, Carmel is quick to point out that it will be available to everyone, regardless of their background or financial means, “We go into the most fabulous houses, we go into houses where people might not have much, loneliness does not discriminate, that’s the bottom line.” ESB scam caller led to distraction theft Linkedin TAGSAge Well IrelandCorballyelderlyloneliness Anne Hourigan and Deirdre HoganA service that is tackling loneliness among elderly Limerick people is in danger of being discontinued due to lack of funding. Simon Bourke reports. Twitter WhatsApp On alert for Beast from the East Email Facebook Young Social Innovators award for St Munchin’s Print €57 million flood relief fund for Limerick Advertisement Previous articleMunster announce the signing of Haley from Sale SharksNext articleBeyond the neon runes Editor NewsLimerick lifeline for the elderly is facing closureBy Editor – March 1, 2018 2826 Le Chéile – A place where you can be yourself, warts and all RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

VRA Retailer of the Year nominations requested

first_imgSource: VRA -30- Tasha Wallis, Executive Director of the Vermont Retail Association (VRA), announced today the second annual VRA Retailer of the Year Award.(ROYs). “The overwhelmingly positive response to last year’s ROYs made it clear that Vermont’s retail industry believed in the value of recognizing outstanding excellence among its members,” said Wallis. “In addition, retailers employ more Vermonters than any other business sector except health care, with more than 40,000 working in retail–16% of the entire work force. That makes it especially appropriate to highlight the ‘best of the best’ each year.”All Vermont businesses engaged in retail operations will be eligible for nomination and consideration for the 2009 Vermont Retailer of the Year Awards. Nominations may be submitted using the Retailer of the Year nomination form on the association’s website, www.vtretailers.com(link is external). VRA will accept nominations through November 30, 2009. The awards will be presented at a celebration and ceremony in early 2010.Awards to be presented includeRETAILER OF THE YEAR… Honoring a Vermont retailer for overall excellenceGREENTAILER OF THE YEAR… Honoring a Vermont retailer for environmental excellenceCOMMUNITY GEMS…Honoring Vermont retailers who make unique and valuable contributions to their communitieslast_img read more

Vermont Emergency Management gets full accreditation

first_imgVermont Emergency Management (VEM) has been fully accredited under the national Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).  EMAP is a review process for state and local emergency management programs to ensure they are in compliance with national standards.  Vermont joins 21 other states and four jurisdictions with accredited programs.EMAP provides emergency management programs the opportunity to be recognized for compliance with national standards, to demonstrate accountability, and to focus attention on areas and issues where resources are needed.  EMAP has 63 criteria with which to identify areas for improvement at emergency management organizations.“Our emergency management team deserves the thanks and praise of Vermonters for achieving this accreditation,” Governor Douglas said.  “We have worked hard in recent years to ensure that our disaster preparedness and response systems are coordinated and ready to meet the needs of Vermonters in a crisis.”VEM underwent a baseline EMAP assessment in 2004 and only met 12 of 54 criteria at that time.  Through ongoing efforts since 2004, VEM led the charge with other state agency and local partners to meet the expanded 63 criteria. During 2009 a concentrated effort was made to catalog existing plans and programs as well as to develop a new emergency operations plan.  An EMAP assessment team visited the state in November to review operations and interview staff as well as other state and local emergency response agencies.  A final review earlier this week was the last step before the official accreditation was approved by the EMAP Commission.“I am proud of the dedication and leadership our VEM staff has shown to ensure that Vermont meets the highest national standards for emergency preparedness,” said Commissioner of Public Safety Tom Tremblay.  “Demonstrating that the entire state’s readiness efforts meet national standards is not just a welcomed recognition; it means that the state has the tools and coordination to respond effectively in the event of disaster.  We will continue to work on a collaborative basis to update and enhance our disaster response preparedness.”Source: Governor’s office. 4.8.2010###last_img read more

Vestas optimistic about long-term wind power growth in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Wind turbine maker Vestas sees U.S. demand peaking in 2020 as government incentives, which have spurred investments in the sector, are phased out.Strong interest from utilities looking to replace retiring coal assets and big companies looking to buy renewable power will ensure U.S. demand does not fall off a cliff, as some analysts have predicted, Vestas’ North American chief said.“There’s no such thing as a cliff,” Chris Brown said at the firm’s capital markets day on Thursday. “I think that 2020 is going to be the peak of where the demand is and you’re going to see it fall off a little bit as you lose the PTC (production tax credit). And then you’re probably going to see it come back,” he later told Reuters.The PTC scheme has been critical to enabling wind projects to compete with fossil fuel plants but will start being gradually phased out from 2020.Brown pointed to 22 gigawatt (GW) of unmet demand by 2030 from so-called RE100 companies, which is an alliance of firms including Goldman Sachs, Walmart and Starbucks that aims to get 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources to combat climate change. Another 11 GW of unmet demand comes from utilities across the United States looking to replace coal plants with new wind generation, Brown added.More: Vestas sees U.S. demand for wind turbines peaking in 2020 Vestas optimistic about long-term wind power growth in U.S.last_img read more

Nassau, Suffolk to Hold Special Elections for County Legislatures

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By the end of next month, Long Island will have held three special elections—each on a different day—to fill two vacant seats in the Nassau County legislature and one in the Suffolk County legislature.The first special election happens next Tuesday for Nassau’s 12th Legislative District, followed two weeks later by the special election for the 19th Legislative District. The Suffolk County special election for the 12th Legislative District is in six weeks. Two of the six candidates are named Kennedy—and they’re both Republicans, although one’s a man, the other a woman.From a political standpoint, the outcome of Nassau’s two special elections could be more significant than what happens in Suffolk, where the Democrats already hold a commanding margin in the county legislature. If the Republicans can win both Nassau special elections, then they would need to gain just another seat in the Nassau Legislature to control a super majority of 13 votes—they now have 10 of the 19 legislative seats—and that margin would enable the GOP to approve borrowing measures without needing Democratic support. The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which is the state-imposed fiscal control board, has projected that the county is facing a $150 million budget deficit.In the Suffolk legislature, Democrats currently hold 10 of the 18 seats, the Republicans have five, the Working Families Party and the Independence Party have one each, and the remaining vacant seat is up for the special election at the end of March.The first special election will be on Feb. 24 to fill the vacancy created by former Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) winning his race to the New York State Senate. Venditto, whose father, John Venditto, is Oyster Bay town supervisor, had won his seat in the county legislature thanks to a special election held in 2012 after Republican Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapeuqa) suddenly died in Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office. Interestingly, the Republican candidate in this special election is Schmitt’s son-in-law, James Kennedy, 42, whose mother-in-law, Lois Schmitt, is running his campaign. Kennedy serves on the Nassau Board of Elections. His Democratic challenger is Joseph Stufano, 53, a biomedical engineer who is also from Massapequa.The other Nassau special election will be held on March 10 to fill the 19th Legislative District seat left vacant by former Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), who resigned after pleading guilty of charging more than $2 million worth of legal services over eight years that he never provided. This special election pits Rita Kestenbaum, 56, who’s running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines, against Steven Rhoads, 46, who has the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines and the Tax Revolt party designation. Kestenbaum, a former member of the Hempstead Town Board, is a Bellmore resident who became a gun control activist in 2007 after her 20-year-old daughter was shot to death on the night of her birthday outside her off-campus apartment in Tempe, Arizona, by a disturbed young man who then turned the gun on himself. Afterwards, Kestenbaum set up a foundation and has worked closely with the Long Island Crisis Center. Rhoads, also a Bellmore resident, is a personal injury attorney who twice tried to unseat Denenberg.In Nassau’s Legislative District 12, 46 percent of the 56,625 registered voters are Republicans (25,813 voters) and 26 percent are Democrats (14,710 voters). In Nassau’s Legislative District 19, 41 percent of the 54,355 registered voters are Republicans (22,304 voters) and 31 percent are Democrats (16,708 voters).The third special election, in Suffolk’s 12th Legislative District, will be help on March 31 to fill the seat held by former Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), who won his bid to become Suffolk County comptroller last November. He’d previously been overwhelmingly re-elected as a legislator with 83 percent of the vote. In the comptroller’s race, Kennedy’s Democratic challenger, James Gaughran, had tried to make an issue out of Kennedy’s hiring his wife, Leslie, on his staff in 2007 as an aide and promoting her over the years. But the voters didn’t buy it, perhaps as Kennedy himself frequently said publicly, his wife works just as hard—if not harder—than he does in serving their legislative district which mostly covers Smithtown but has a sliver of Brookhaven. Now Leslie Kennedy, 58, will be running for the seat herself.Kennedy’s Democratic challenger, Deborah Monaco, 55, is reportedly not going to run “an active campaign,” according to Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer, due to time constraints and other factors. She has been the secretary of the Suffolk Democratic Committee and has a job at the Suffolk Board of Elections. In this Suffolk district, Republicans have 20,202 registered voters compared to the Democrats’ 14,563 registered voters.In all these special elections, turnout will definitely be a huge factor, magnifying the impact of any voter who braves the weather and goes to the polls. Last February, only 4.29 percent of the registered voters in Nassau Legislative District 2 turned out for the special election which Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury) won against Republican Pepitz Blanchard.—With Jamie Zahl and Timothy Bolgerlast_img read more

Other than Medical, What Should You Offer

first_imgThe question I get asked most often is “what should we offer other than medical?” How to Protect EmployeesAlthough employees typically will not choose disability coverage as their top requirement, I believe this is one of the best purchases an employer can make. However, disability coverage can double in price when offered as a voluntary coverage – again, one of the reasons I like to see disability as the second employer-paid coverage after medical insurance. Like all other things in life, it depends. What do your employees want? What will be an affordable addition? What will provide the best protection for your employees?What Employees WantThere are surveys conducted all the time, trying to figure out what employees want.  You can take a poll of your employees to find out your specific group’s needs. But to give you an idea of what the surveys report, medical coverage is the most important benefit in the eyes of employees.  After that, they want dental, vision, life, and disability – in that order. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Thurston County ChamberBy Sandy Wood, GHB Insurance, broker for the products Thurston County Chamber’s Benefits Trust products We are seeing dental rates range from $40 to $60 per employee, and vision from $7 to $10 – assuming that your company pays about 75% of the employees’ premiums. The cost for $10,000 in life insurance would be about $5, while short term disability and long term disability costs about $25 for each line of coverage – assuming your company pays 100% of your employees’ premiums. Most companies that provide some type of insurance coverage to their employees offer medical.  While it is the most expensive, it is also the most utilized. For about $25 per month you can offer financial stability to any employee who becomes disabled.  Most people think of disability hitting them after retirement age.  But the reality is that about 8% of those age 18 – 64 will be disabled at some point during their working years. Give the People What They WantIf you are not able to afford all the benefits your employees want, consider offering voluntary coverage.  Dental, vision, and life insurance rates will increase only slightly when offering these plans to your employees on a voluntary basis. The PricingWhile every group will receive rates based on their number of employees, their ages, and their genders, I can at least provide a guideline. And disability, even a temporary disability lasting less than 2 years, can throw your employee into bankruptcy and homelessness. For more information, contact author Sandy Wood at [email protected] or call 800.789.5011. GHB Insurance, the broker for the products in the Thurston County Chamber’s Benefits Trust, is located at 556 Lilly Road SE in Olympia.last_img read more