Working life: Ann Griffin, development worker with SAGE

I check emails and messages to see if anything came in overnight that needs an immediate response. 


Typically referrals come from directors of nursing, public health nurses, GPs or members of the public who may have a concern that an older person is struggling to access information and services. 

Alternatively, it could be a referral from our Sage Rapid Response Helpline 1850-719400.


This morning I am having a follow-up visit with a person from the farming community currently in long-stay residential care. 

A key issue that continues to unsettle this person, who has no family, is worrying about the welfare of the animals left on the farm. 

The person concerned is non-verbal and it took a couple of visits before we began to communicate through writing. 

I am currently working with the Department of Agriculture with a view to preparing the animals for sale and this morning’s meeting will provide the client with information upon which to make their final decision, thus ensuring that our strapline of ‘Nothing about you/without you’ is adhered to.

12 noon

A key part of my role as a development worker is to support a team of volunteer advocates who report directly to me. 

This afternoon I am attending an MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting) with the volunteer advocate who is currently supporting a client who wishes to return home despite there being significant challenges with the home environment. 

We have also invited a member of the County Council’s housing department to the meeting.


I am driving to a nursing home in Roscommon to give a presentation to the staff to promote the Sage Support and Advocacy Service which is being developed under the governance of the Third Age Organisation. 

I will be explaining that our mission is to promote and protect the rights, freedoms, and dignity of older people by developing support and advocacy services wherever ageing poses a challenge.


I call to an elderly couple in their late 80s who have been denied a full medical card because a form was not completed properly. 

This is a very common issue as many older people have difficulties bringing together relevant information when seeking to access support services.


I head home to my 93-year-old mother, my husband, and my two cats, George and Henry.

* Ann Griffin is a development worker with SAGE — Support and Advocacy Services for older people


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