How personal budgets are working in Ireland - A Research Brief

How personal budgets are working in Ireland: Evaluating the implementation of four individualised fu

This report presents an evaluation of the implementation of personalised budgets in four Genio-supported projects for people with a disability. The evaluation includes a summary of the main lessons learned according to the key people involved in these initiatives, including individuals with a disability who participated in the initiatives; family members; paid and unpaid advocates; and staff members from within the four organisations. 

This document is aimed at anyone who is interested in the practicalities, successes and challenges of implementing individualised funding initiatives in Ireland. Those who may be interested include:

  • People living with a disability.
  • Those providing informal supports for people with a disability, such as family members, friends, members of the wider community.
  • Personal assistants / key workers and other paid support for individuals with a disability.
  • Staff members currently implementing individualised funding initiatives.
  • Service providers considering moving to an individualised funding model or incorporating an individualised funding arm into their current service model.
  • Researchers.
  • Funders.
  • Policy makers/drivers such as civil servants and elected members of government.
  • The Health Service Executive (HSE) and other health service staff.

For individualised funding to be successful in Ireland, it is important to focus on an individual’s abilities, passions and interests and to encourage independence and personal responsibility. It is essential to provide an easy and transparent access route from the outset for people who wish to avail of individualised funding and targeted training for support workers / personal assistants etc.

New community-based friendships should also be encouraged and facilitated, while existing contacts and friendships are maintained for the people supported. Sharing stories and celebrate achievements by using social networks, blogs, print, video and other media can highlight success stories and help grow momentum.

Ensure that senior staff members within organisations implementing individualised funding positively champion and promote individualised funding, particularly during challenging periods and develop collaboration and build a unified network of advocates in order to strengthen the national presence. It is important that these people engage and network in order to share ideas, top tips and pitfalls whilst focusing on shared goals rather than organisational differences.

A number of recommendations are made at the end of the briefing document. These are based on the key lessons presented and are intended to inform, challenge and promote discussion among the readership.

Summary: Telecare & Assistive Technology Evaluation

This summary presents the main results and conclusions from an evaluation of the telecare and assistive technology initiatives implemented by the first four demonstration sites funded under the HSE & Genio Dementia Programme (2012-2015). 

‘Telecare’ refers to remote provision of care and support to persons with dementia. This covers risk management and other supports provided by care services or informal carers who are not present in the home, as well as in-home arrangements enabling carers to provide care to a person with dementia from another room or part of the home and its environs.

The evaluation involved a total of 24 clients (persons with dementia and their family carers), each with a tailored mix of telecare sensors and devices. All 24 cases reported positive benefits from telecare, often major benefits. In some cases there were also some negative impacts, including nuisance factors because of noisy or over-sensitive technology and, sometimes, dilemmas about the trade-offs between invasion of privacy and benefits for the person with dementia. In all cases, carers felt that the positives outweighed the negatives, often substantially.

Mapping dementia-friendly communities across Europe - Summary Report

The aim of this report is to provide practical information, guidance and examples to support good practice around sustainable, inclusive and supportive environments for people living with dementia and their carers. The report is accompanied by an online collection of case studies - “Dementia-friendly community case studies across Europe” - that illustrate the diversity of ‘dementia-friendly community’ activity in Europe.

This research was commissioned by the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID), of which Genio is a partner organisation, and produced by the Mental Health Foundation (UK). A number of dementia projects supported by Genio in Ireland participated in the research and are featured in the report.

The full report can be accessed on the EFID website.

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