Posted by in News.

From Department of Health 

Published on 13 July 2021

Last updated on 12 July 2021

The Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, and the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, have today launched a new programme which is aimed at supporting older adults to remain living in their own homes and communities.

Sláintecare and Age Friendly Ireland / Meath County Council are responsible for rolling out this joint programme entitled ‘Healthy Age Friendly Homes’, across nine Local Authority areas. This is a new initiative, funded by Sláintecare, that aims to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs.

The programme aims to reach up to 4,500 homes across nine Local Authority areas over the two years. These older people will have been identified as having significant social care needs and are at risk of hospitalisation or premature entry into long term residential care. It is the aim of this programme to target supports to improve the living conditions of older people and enhance access to continued health and social care and tailored community supports. The Local Coordinators will support older people and their families to navigate the services by proactively linking them to the appropriate supports and services.

Ultimately this approach aims to:

  • support the avoidance of early or premature admission to long term residential care
  • enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs (Rightsizing)
  • live with a sense of independence and autonomy
  • be and feel part of their communities

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, said:

“As we think about later life, most of us would prefer to stay as long as possible in our own homes, surrounded by friends, loved ones, and the familiar setting of our community. I am fully committed, along with Government as a whole, to do everything we can to support older people to continue living at home with dignity and independence. The Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme being launched today, which is funded by Sláintecare, is a very important part of delivering on this policy.”

Laura Magahy, Executive Director, Sláintecare said:

“The Healthy Age Friendly Homes programme is a unique collaboration between Sláintecare and local government that will support people to live longer and healthier lives in their own homes. Over the next two years, we will reach up to 4,500 homes across 9 Local Authorities. Our local co-ordinators will act as a catalyst to the person-centred care at the heart of the government’s vision for an Age Friendly Ireland. One of Sláintecare’s key goals is the timely, safe access to care and the promotion of health and wellbeing. This innovative new programme will deliver on this goal by supporting older people to live in their own home and communities, for as long as possible, and avoiding the premature transition into long-term residential care.”

Speaking about the new Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke said:

“Healthy Age Friendly Homes will be a key tool to identify older people who may need support and how best we can deliver this support, leading to better health outcomes for older people. Housing is a top priority when developing age-friendly communities and supporting older people to remain healthy and age in place is always our priority. Work continues to ensure that the housing needs of our ageing population will be included in the forthcoming ‘Housing For All’ government policy” and as Minister with responsibility for housing for older persons, I am working hard on this.”

Jackie Maguire, Chief Executive of Meath County Council and host of Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Sláintecare to deliver this programme which offers an opportunity to best enable older people to remain living independently in their own homes and communities with the correct supports.”


Research shows that the majority of people want to remain in their own home as they age. This desire however is often challenged by their home not being suitable, their needs become more pronounced, their financial means decrease or their mobility declines. With the right assessment and intervention, the living environment can be changed from being one of health risk to one of health support.

The approach taken in the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme is to support older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence, for as long as possible. The programme’s ambition is to enable everyone to live longer healthier lives by keeping care close to home and expanding the range of health and social care services in the community. This is particularly important for older people, who access these services more frequently. It is about providing a range of alternatives for older people who may otherwise transition into long term residential care prematurely.

A National Manager – Healthy Homes Programme has been recruited to devise and rollout the programme together with nine dedicated Local Co-ordinators – Healthy Homes Programme who will be responsible for the local roll out. A Local Coordinator will case manage a support package for each person referred to the programme, linking the supports from the variety of public, voluntary, private and community agencies in the area.

This new programme will be jointly led across 9 Local Authority areas:

  • Cork County Council
  • Dublin City Council
  • Fingal County Council
  • Galway County and City Council
  • Limerick City and County Council
  • Longford County Council
  • South Dublin County Council
  • Tipperary County Council
  • Westmeath County Council

Sláintecare | Department of Health

Sláintecare is the Programme to transform our health and social care services. It is the roadmap for building a world-class health and social care service for Irish people. The Sláintecare vision is to achieve a universal single-tier health and social care system where everyone has equal access to services based on need, and not ability to pay.

Age Friendly Ireland | Shared Service function of Local Government

The Age Friendly Programme involves a multi-agency, multi sectoral approach to age related planning and service provision. The programme helps cities and counties to be more inclusive of older people by addressing their expressed concerns and introducing practical responses aimed at improving the quality of life of all citizens. Age Friendly Ireland (AFI), a shared service function of local authorities, hosted by Meath County Council operates through a national network of Age Friendly Programmes in every local authority.

For further information contact:

Rosaleen Harlin, Sláintecare Programme Implementation Office

Rachel Leavy, Age Friendly Ireland’s Communication Office