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New project helping older people to live independently

Published: Fri, 28 Mar 2014
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The project helps older people live independently
Supporting People Armagh Dungannon
Fifty older people across Armagh and Dungannon are set to benefit from the newly formed Housing Support for Older People (HSOP) project across the region.
The project, provided by Belfast Central Mission (BCM) and funded by the Housing Executive, helps older people live independently in their own homes by offering services such as practical measures to increase safety and security, emotional support and help with maintaining tenancies.  
The service, previously only covering the Belfast area, will be extended to cover Armagh and Dungannon, helping up to 50 older people by providing individual support for up to two years.  
To access the service older people or their families can contact the project directly.  A referral can also be made by any community or hospital based health and social care staff or any other agency working with older people.
Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, Sean McGuigan, who launched the expanded service at Ranfurly House in Dungannon, said:  “There’s no place like home, for many older people just a little support means that they can remain at home in familiar surroundings and most importantly where they want to be.”
Brian Burns, Director of BCM, said since its set up in 2007 in Belfast, the Housing Support project had helped 400 people to live independently in their own homes. The expansion of the project into Armagh and Dungannon will see up to 50 more older people benefit, he added.
“With all the recent negative news about the impact on the elderly in relation to care home provision, this is a timely and necessary expansion so that we can help those over 60 years of age to live full and independent lives in familiar surroundings,” said Mr Burns.
Mary McDonnell, from the Housing Executive, welcomed the new service, funded through our Supporting People Programme on behalf of the Department for Social Development (DSD).
“Research tells us that most older people want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.  Indeed helping people to live as independently as possible in their own homes is at the core of our work.  
“By working in partnership with Belfast Central Mission, and other voluntary organisations, we can help supply the extra help to people in their own homes to achieve this goal.”
Further information on the service is available from Project Manager Leona Larkham on 028 8775 0175 or by emailing llarkham@belfastcentralmission.org. Log onto the website at www.belfastcentralmission.org