ALONE – “Demand for older people’s supports has tripled over the past 4 years” Charity releases 2016 Annual Report

PRESS RELEASE

Dublin, 1st November 2017

 

ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, released its 2016 Annual Report today.

Key findings in the 2016 ALONE Annual Report include
• 4,500 people were supported by befriending services nationwide
• 937 older people were supported by ALONE support coordination service
• 108 older people were housed by ALONE
• ALONE volunteers provided 46,800 hours
• 1 in 10 older people require support beyond homecare to live at home , which represents 66,000 people
• By 2046 the number of over 65s will increase by 225%
• By 2046 the number of over 80s will increase by 375%
• By 2022, ALONE plan to support 20,000 older people directly (14,000 older people indirectly) through KMCT, technology. This represents only 18% of those in need
• By 2022, ALONE aim to grow frontline volunteers from 700 to 7,000

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Our Annual Report breaks down the services ALONE provides on a daily basis, from housing older people to coordinating supports for all of their needs, offering befriending to those experiencing loneliness and campaigning on behalf of older peoples’ rights. Our services offer a range of supports to enable older people to live independently. In addition to offering these services, in 2016 we teamed up with other age sector charities to campaign and consult with the government to ensure the needs of older people are met.”

The report echoes last week’s ESRI report which stated that the demand for healthcare is projected to increase substantially with rapid growth and ageing of Ireland’s population.

Moynihan continued, “As last week’s ESRI report stated, the demand for home help care and for residential and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings is projected to increase by up to 54 per cent by 2030. ALONE believe that right to home care is a major part of solving the impending demand on healthcare, as older people are being forced to remain in acute hospital beds due to lack of supports to go home.”

In 2016, 20% of older people had issues with home adaptations and 10% were unable to keep their home warm. These numbers highlight the lack of housing choices and supports for older people in the community. ALONE believes that Ireland’s impending ageing demographic requires a move away from traditional models of care towards alternative models that harness community resources.

Since 2016, the charity has been developing a technology platform, in partnership with NetwellCASALA, that supports older people to age well at home. The ALONE platform is operated through mobile apps and home sensors. The apps ask daily questions about health and wellbeing, with answers recorded on a tablet by the older person, and separately by a visiting neighbour, carer or family member. The combined answers form a unique pattern, and a change from this can trigger an intervention. Home sensors can detect if the resident has got up today, has entered the toilet or kitchen, and can trigger an intervention eg. raise an alarm that they may have fallen or are too unwell to get up.

Moynihan continued, “ALONE, as a rights based charity has worked for many years to ensure our services are of the highest standards. We have achieved 3 quality awards because we know that the older people we work with deserve quality services. We also are passionate about transparency and accountability, and submit our annual reports to the Charities Regulator.”

“In the last four years we have doubled in size, the demand for our services has tripled, the number of volunteers has tripled and we have introduced new services to support older people to age at home, both directly and indirectly. Prioritising the needs of our older people is something that we would like to see the government and general public take an interest in as inevitably we all grow older and the decisions we make now will impact us later.”

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit.

ENDS

About ALONE
2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing. ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

For more information contact:
Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 3587153
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033