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Donegal Age Friendly 'Winter Ready Pack' 08.12.20

DONEGAL Age Friendly Programme launched their 'Winter Ready Pack', last week. The Age Friendly Programme works to make Ireland one of the best places in the world in which to grow old. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to linger this puts a huge impact on services and challenges us as individuals but especially the older age group, who are continually being advised to stay safe and in their home away from friends and family.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Rena Donaghey acknowledged and commended the great work of older people during the Covid-19 pandemic: "they have showed great resilience through 2020 and It is important now to continue your great work and keep yourself healthy and well as we face into the winter”.
Earlier this year when Donegal faced into the first national lockdown, over 7,500 age friendly packs were delivered to older people all over the county. The Donegal Age Friendly Alliance is a multi-agency group and have joined resources again to create a second round of packs only this time it’s a 'Winter Ready Pack'. This pack, like the first one is designed around the physical and mental wellbeing of older people living at home.
Council staff making up the 'Winter Ready Pack' are L-R, Sharleen Tinney, Róise Ní Laifeartaigh and Mairead Cranley.
Specially designed and created for older people, an advent calendar is included, which from the 1st of December up till Christmas day they will open a new door, each of these doors contain a positive mental health message or task to carry out that day along with a chocolate reward for doing so. Nutrition is always very important, included in the pack, information and simple nutritious recipes to cook with a packet of porridge and soup provided. Even though Older People are at home, the age friendly programme would encourage everyone to wrap up using the beanie hat supplied, go outside into nature to plant the daffodil bulbs and feed the birds with the bird seed that is also inside the pack.
For the days that people cannot get outside, the pack contains an activity booklet and pencil to keep the mind active and a simple exercise programme to keep the body moving. To relax and unwind in the longer evenings, the pack contains a tea bag, this is to encourage people to sit back, have your cup of tea and read through the literature we have provided on security in your home, keep in contact card and information on the Doorstep Delivery Service from the Donegal Library Service.

Moving on from the contents of the pack, the most important message the Age Friendly Programme wants to get across to the older people living in Donegal is that they don’t have to face into this winter alone. There are many services available in Donegal to help you. If you are lonely and want to talk there is the ALONE Service, if you have concerns around the increase of drinking in the home you have the Alcohol Forum, if you need shopping or prescriptions lifted you have the community response team. All these services can be contacted through the Donegal County Council’s Covid-19 Freephone Helpline 1800-928-982 or email covidsupport@donegalcoco.ie .
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