Community Navigator helps older people

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The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has appointed Bronagh McFadden as Community Navigator to support older people in maintaining and improving their health and wellbeing.

Bronagh, who is based in Ballymoney Community Resource Centre, aims to understand the needs of older people in the Ballymoney, Coleraine and Moyle areas and to assist them in accessing help from services such as the Befriending scheme, Community Transport, Home Security, the British Red Cross and the Northern Trust Carers Co-ordinator. Bronagh provides a vital link between Northern Trust services and the community and voluntary sector building up knowledge and partnership working across these sectors.

79-year-old Helen lives in Garvagh and she has already benefitted from the help of the Community Navigator. She has suspected dementia and no mobility but referrals have been made for Helen to the befriending scheme, MARA project (Maximising Access to benefits in Rural Areas), British Red Cross Home and Well Scheme, Warm Homes Scheme and carers support through the Northern Trust Carer’s Co-ordinator.

One of the services Helen was referred to was the British Red Cross Home and Well Scheme. Helen appreciates the help they give her and said: “If it wasn’t for them I would not be receiving carers allowance and would be feeling like I had no help or support from anyone. It’s great to have someone that can connect all these people together and put me in contact with the services that can help me”.

Community Navigator, Bronagh McFadden said: “My main aim is to meet the needs of an aging population by working in partnership with community and voluntary organisations to connect older people to a range of preventative services which are available in their area to enable them to live more independently and safely at home.

“A referral mechanism which can be accessed by Northern Trust teams, GPs, community and voluntary groups, older people or their families is in place. To date I have received over 100 referrals. This has enabled many older people to access multiple services in the community which allow them to remain independent at home and socially active, thus complimenting the role of the Northern Trust. The sharing of information between community and voluntary groups and the mapping of services to help older people are vital to the success of my post.”

For more information contact Bronagh McFadden on 028 276 65068 or by email –