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Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership and Health Centre Pharmacy

Healthy steps to ageing

Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) is a local inter-agency-based partnership aimed at improving the lives of older people aged 60 years and over, living in the Ballymena, Larne & Carrickfergus areas.

Through its IMPACTAgewell Project, MEAAP realised there was a lack of knowledge around older people living with frailty. MEAAP decided to apply for BCPP funding to run a project around ’Healthy Steps to Ageing’ along with Health Centre Pharmacy, Carrickfergus. This project aimed to build the capacity of community pharmacists to recognise frailty using the Rockwood ‘Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS)’ and increase their confidence to support older people living with frailty.

As a result of the funding, four community pharmacists have already been trained by Medicines Optimisation in Older People (MOOP) on how to apply the Rockwood CFS to identify older people living with frailty and also how to manage the drug treatment of these older people.

The next stage of the programme is to carry out a planning session around the forthcoming 10-week Healthy Steps to Ageing programme enabling MEAAP and Health Centre Pharmacy to gain valuable insight into what matters most to older people with regard to healthy steps to ageing. They also plan to carry out asset mapping which will include inviting local community/voluntary organisations from the Carrick area and discover what skills the older people themselves have and how they can contribute to the project.

“We feel this is a fantastic opportunity to lead the way in terms of involving and upskilling pharmacists in NI in relation to identifying frailty. The project applies a person-centred community development approach to health to allow each older person to individually explore the context of their lives and look for small but vital steps towards healthier ageing. Throughout the project we aim to create a vlog so people can follow along on the journey.”

Andrea Tierney, MEAAP