Oonagh Ryan, OPRAH, outlines how often simple co-ordinated changes can make a huge difference to people’s quality of life.
OPRAH aims to support older people with all forms of frailty and disease to remain at home, while increasing their quality of life. The projects offers supports to older people with low or medium levels of dependency, including those with dementia, who wish to remain at home in their local communities. It has a strong focus on early prevention and intervention. A secondary objective is to reduce the number of hospitalisations and premature entry into long-term care.
Operating across four rural and urban based sites, OPRAH developed a new, broader approach to providing services to older people that was rooted in individualised care plans and specialist co-ordinated services.
Each site had a designated OPRAH Co-ordinator, who met with project participants to carry out an assessment of their medical and social care needs, such as their ability to get in and out of the house, adaptations that might be needed in the home, the number of visitors they might have and their overall social connections. The role of the Co-ordinator was to come up with individualised solutions to improve people’s quality of life in their homes and communities.
On the Ground
The impact of the project will be measured by the extent to which people are supported to remain in their homes while increasing their quality of life, the reduction in hospital and nursing home admissions, improvements for carers and the cost savings realised through this community based approach.
Impact on People
Keeping Out and About
Mary stopped going to mass, which meant that a vital part of her day for socialisation was cut off. The reason she stopped going was that the church had put in new doors. They were too heavy for her to open and she didn’t want to have to ask people to open them for her. So, the OPRAH Co-ordinator talked to the priest who arranged to put the doors on magnets before the daily mass – this meant that Mary could return to going to mass, meet people and maintain her independence.