Fold housing association showcases innovative dementia support

Fold Housing Association’s TeleCare services allow patients to live as independent a life as possible.

Over 19,000 people in Northern Ireland are living with dementia, a number which is projected to rise to almost 60,000 by 2051. With dementia care putting major pressure on our health service, Fold Housing Association has made it a priority to provide support to enable patients to live as independent a life as possible for as long as possible wherever they choose to live.

The organisation has 23,000 homes availing of its innovative TeleCare service, making it the largest provider of assistive technology in Ireland.

The TeleCare system provides a number of unobtrusive sensors which can be placed around the home, these will raise an alarm if a possible problem is detected, such as smoke, gas, flood, a fall or fire. Sensors are configured to raise an alert to the TeleCare monitoring centre where trained operators follow appropriate protocols. Such prompt intervention helps minimise the consequences of incidents, resulting in improved outcomes.

This system gives both the patient and their carers reassurance that the condition is being managed remotely. At a recent event at the Stormont Hotel entitled “Can you tell the difference?” Fold Housing Association brought together those who design, commission, and deliver dementia services as well as carers, health trusts and patients.

Speakers included Bernadine McCrory, Director, Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland, Cathy Mawhinney, Head of Memory Services, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, services users and their carers.

Fiona McAnespie, Fold’s Director of Care Services, said: “‘Can you tell the difference?’ demonstrates our commitment to making a real difference in people’s lives. This event showcased the range of services Fold Housing Association is already delivering, through collaborative working, to those who have been diagnosed with dementia and their carers.

“These services cover a wide spectrum in community based care and support interventions, namely, TeleCare Assistive Technology, Floating Support, Staying Put and Day Care services through to Supported Housing and 24-hour Care and Support within both Supported and Housing with Care environments.” 

She added: “TeleCare is making a significant contribution to people who want to retain independence. We want to place choice for clients at the centre of decision making and be able to offer dementia patients the choice of how and where they are cared for. Given the increased pressure on our hospitals and the challenges involved with our ageing population Fold believes these services are vital.”

Fold Housing Association is already looking ahead to the future and is set to pilot a new product in the coming year which will give dementia patients even greater independence outside of their homes.

Mrs McAnespie added: “We feel that we are getting to a stage where we have implemented all possible solutions for inside the home, and we now want to extend this support to allow people with dementia to be able to continue the activities they enjoyed before their diagnosis – walking the dog, going to church – with the same independence.”


To find out more visit or call us on

028 9042 8314


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