Older Voices Kildare (OVK) is a Social Inclusion Initiative which specifically targets isolated categories of older persons, including Older LGBTQI persons, Travellers, People with Disability, and Individuals who are experiencing social exclusion through lack of or limited social capital.

Our mission — to build the confidence and capacity of older people in Kildare — works towards creating a county where older people are included and empowered within a vibrant community.

Older Voices Aims:

  • To assist and facilitate people to explore their own ageing and to challenge the myths and stereotyping that leads to ageism.
  • To provide information on physical, psychological and social aspects of growing older – all of which increase self-confidence and improve mental health
  • To explore the issues and barriers that older men experience in participation on community programmes and to develop initiatives to address this
  • To facilitate a befriending service to address high levels of loneliness and social isolation in the County.
  • To develop specific strategies to include more marginalised categories of older people, older LGBT’s, Travellers, people with intellectual or physical disability, and older people in residential or long terms care settings, and people with dementia and their carers.

 

We work with people over 65 in County Kildare.

The Befriending Project relates directly to enhancing mental and physical health and supporting vulnerable members of society. Indirectly, the service can impact on the need for homecare packages, and hospital discharge. Referrals can be made by yourself, a family member on your behalf (with your permission) or a health care worker. Referral forms can be downloaded here :

Befriending Referral Form

If you would like to be a volunteer and give an hour of your time every week to visit an older person for a cup of tea and a chat, application forms can be downloaded here. Full training and Garda Vetting are provided by Older Voices Kildare.

Volunteer Application Documents

Social Prescription and befriending services give an older person a more varied choice of options for them to explore, and identify for themselves where possible, what suits them rather than what a health professional or family thinks they need.

 

It also allows for the targeted inclusion of people with dementia and their carers, where a social prescription such as Yoga, can be tailored to individual cognitive needs. This will allow either an hour of respite for the carer, or an opportunity to engage in an activity with their loved one that is not related to their condition.

 

Social Prescription allows the individual to take an active role in their own health and well-being. Referrals can be made by yourself, a family member on your behalf (with your permission) or a health care worker or service.  Referral forms can be downloaded here :

Social Prescribing Referral Form (Clients)

Social Prescribing Referral Form (Services)_

  • Aging with Confidence
  • Voices Through Art :
  • Self in The Big Picture
  • On Track (Turning Retirement into Active Citizenship)
  • Agewise Training for Service Providers
  • Felting
  • Voter education
  • Human Rights and Older People
  • Dementia Specific Yoga
  • Dementia Awareness Training for carers and caring staff
  • Volunteer befriending
  • LGBT Awareness Training for Volunteers
  • Including a Person with a dementia in your community group.

Dates for these programmes in 2020 will be advertised and early booking is advised.

Enrolment forms will be available for download once venues and dates are confirmed.

Please feel free to contact us with any queries:

Denise has been the co-ordinator of Older Voices since it began in 2009. The Project has grown and changed significantly in that time, and now facilitates the range of services outlined above. Denise is your point of contact for Social Prescribing, Programmes, and any general queries not related to befriending. Denise is also involved in the Alzheimer’s cafe, and the dementia specific initiatives.

Susan is our befriending support worker. This means that she is the first point of contact for anyone wishing to avail of the befriending service or become a volunteer. Susan also co-facilitates the befriending training for volunteers and supports volunteers as the carry out their visits. She also works closely with Denise on co-ordinating supports for those with Alzheimer’s or a dementia, and is a familiar welcoming face at the monthly Alzheimer’s cafe, as well as in Older Voices dementia specific yoga classes, and mindfulness for carers of a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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Denise Croke

Susan Higgins

Befriending Support Worker
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Susan Higgins

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