ALONE publishes 2015 Annual Report

We are delighted to present you with our 2015 Annual Report.  In ALONE we are committed to transparency and 2015AnnualReportaccountability to ensure that our supporters can see the work we do and the impact we make on the lives of the older people we support.

The number of over 65s living in Ireland is expected to increase from 606,000 in 2015, to 1.4m by 2046.  In ALONE we believe that in order to meet the challenges that lie ahead we must plan now for effective, high quality low cost models of services that will improve the lives of older people for years to come.

2015 was a year of enormous growth and development in ALONE as we expanded our support services nationally to face the many challenges that come from our ageing population. The issues we will face in the years ahead are complex and require equally complex solutions. Working with others in the sector we are paving the way in defining and solving these problems as they emerge. This is not an easy task but working together we can continue to meet the needs of older people as they arise and make sure the supports are in place to help them age at home.

I would like to sincerely thank the Board of Trustees, volunteers and staff for all their hard work and on their dedication to ALONE. The work of each person has a massive impact on the lives of so many older people. We ask a lot of you and you give your all to ensure we provide the quality and consistent services that older people deserve.

Next year we will continue to grow and develop our partnerships to extend our knowledge reach and our use of technology.  This will increase the level and quality of the services we provide for the older people we work with and help us continue to support them to age safely and comfortably at home. Partnerships with other organisations also ensures the best use of resources and maximum impact for the older people we help.

Thank you again for your support and we hope you will continue to support us as we try to build a brighter future for older people in Ireland.

Kind Regards

Sean Signature

ALONE CEO

 

ALONE publishes 2015 Annual Report

Dear Supporters

I am delighted to present you with our 2015 Annual Report.  In ALONE we are committed to transparency and 2015AnnualReportaccountability to ensure that our supporters can see the work we do and the impact we make on the lives of the older people we support.

The number of over 65s living in Ireland is expected to increase from 606,000 in 2015, to 1.4m by 2046.  In ALONE we believe that in order to meet the challenges that lie ahead we must plan now for effective, high quality low cost models of services that will improve the lives of older people for years to come.

2015 was a year of enormous growth and development in ALONE as we expanded our support services nationally to face the many challenges that come from our ageing population. The issues we will face in the years ahead are complex and require equally complex solutions. Working with others in the sector we are paving the way in defining and solving these problems as they emerge. This is not an easy task but working together we can continue to meet the needs of older people as they arise and make sure the supports are in place to help them age at home.

I would like to sincerely thank the Board of Trustees, volunteers and staff for all their hard work and on their dedication to ALONE. The work of each person has a massive impact on the lives of so many older people. We ask a lot of you and you give your all to ensure we provide the quality and consistent services that older people deserve.

Next year we will continue to grow and develop our partnerships to extend our knowledge reach and our use of technology.  This will increase the level and quality of the services we provide for the older people we work with and help us continue to support them to age safely and comfortably at home. Partnerships with other organisations also ensures the best use of resources and maximum impact for the older people we help.

Thank you again for your support and we hope you will continue to support us as we try to build a brighter future for older people in Ireland.

Kind Regards

Sean Signature

ALONE CEO

 

ALONE call on the general public to be mindful of older people in their communities

ALONE is urging older people who may be feeling lonely or isolated not to be afraid to ask for the help and support they need and deserve. The charity’s comments follow the tragic death of two older brothers in Bluebell, West Dublin.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We are asking all older people not to be afraid to ask for help I they are feeling isolated or lonely.  It is very easy to become cut off from your community. However, there are supports and services available that can help link you back in with your community.”

He continued, “ALONE’s Befriending Services provides companionship to older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. We are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured befriending service. ALONE also work to help older people address the practical problems that can sometimes stop them from ageing well in the community. Our staff support older people with many issues including health, mobility, housing, grants and accessing services.”

Moynihan concluded, “As an organisation that works with vulnerable older people, we interact first hand with the effects of loneliness every day. I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. Not only can loneliness lead to depression, but it is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system responsivity. Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

ALONE is also calling on all members of the public to check in with their older neighbours who may be living alone and to consider their needs.

ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 for those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community or visit www.alone.ie  The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance, and works with other charities and bodies to ensure all calls for assistance are responded to.

ALONE – Befriending is a vital health service for older people

Charity highlights the importance of Befriending this International Day of Older People

 1st October 2016, Dublin  This International Day of Older people on October 1st, ALONE is highlighting the importance of Befriending services nationwide in the prevention of loneliness and related health issues.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “As an organisation that works with vulnerable older people, we interact first hand with the effects of loneliness every day. I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. Not only can loneliness lead to depression, but it is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system responsivity. Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

He continued “ALONE’s Befriending Services provides companionship to older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. We are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured befriending service. All of our volunteers are trained to a high standard, Garda vetted and they are supported by experienced mentors.”

Moynihan concluded, “We receive no day-to-day government funding for our services which provide a lifeline for thousands of vulnerable older people. Befriending is a preventative health measure and given that mental health problems have an estimated overall economic cost of €3 billion per annum, we would implore the government to take a better look at this key health service.”
ALONE are also the hosts of Befriending Networks Ireland, a national network of befriending services for vulnerable and older people. Its aims are to provide training, quality, transparency as well as a national voice for befriending. ALONE are the only Befriending service in the country to have a quality award and are passionate about ensuring quality across befriending services.

This International Day of Older people on October 1st, ALONE encourage any older person looking for a Befriending Service in their area to get in touch and call 01 679 1032. Similarly, if there are any befriending organisations looking for advice and support they can contact ALONE.

ALONE join with leading NGO’s to call for an increase in investment in Home Care in Budget 2017

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  Leading NGOs Call for Increased Investment in Home Care in      Budget 2017

A group of Ireland’s leading not for profit organisations and campaigners    came together today to call for increased investment in home care in  Budget 2017.

The majority of people coping with the effects of ill health and disability, which includes a large number of older people and people with chronic and long-term progressive illnesses, want to remain living in their own homes, and to die at home if that is their wish. As a society we are failing to provide these people with the support they need.

Home care is often seen and used as a solution to the hospital crises, but it should be seen as an integral part of long-term care in its own right.

The difference that appropriate home care can make to a family cannot be underestimated — it can support people to live well in the community, to stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and to remain in their own homes with their families throughout their lives.

Home care is also vital in supporting Ireland’s 200,000 family carers, who provide the vast majority of care for people at home. The system relies heavily on these carers who provide nearly €4bn worth of care every year and who need our support.

Research recently published by the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice in UCD, Age Action, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Irish Association of Social Workers found that more than half of older people could remain in their own homes instead of going into long-term care if more home support services were available.

The report also showed that a multiple of resources are being invested in long-term care rather than in community-based care, despite the fact that Government policy is to support people to remain at home.

Our ageing population requires a significant annual increase in home care support. The cuts to home care provision over the years have not been restored to the levels required to keep pace with the significant ageing demographics. Provision needs to increase by 4% per year to merely keep pace with these pressures. Research from Care Alliance Ireland suggests an ongoing deficit of 1.6m home care hours in 2016.

This group is calling on the Government to urgently increase investment in home care in Budget 2017 so that people can remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.

This call is supported by the following organisations:

  • ALONE
  • Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
  • Active Ageing Partnership
  • Active Retirement Ireland
  • Age Action
  • Age and Opportunity
  • The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
  • Care Alliance Ireland
  • Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Family Carers Ireland
  • Irish Association of Social Workers
  • Irish Heart Foundation
  • The Irish Hospice Foundation
  • MS Ireland
  • Neurological Alliance of Ireland
  • Sage
  • Third Age

Honouring the trust we are given

A message from our CEO

When people choose to support a charity they do so because they are inspired by the work it does. People are moved by stories that reach into their hearts and connect with them emotionally. In ALONE we have plenty of these stories – from the 79 year old woman who didn’t laugh for 15 years before she joined our Befriending Service, to the homeless 87 year old man we gave a home to. However we also know that we need to link these stories to comprehensive information about where your money goes, the number of people we support and the manner in which we support them. All charities should be judged on their impact and effectiveness, not just on an emotive story; we must value those that have quality standards, are accountable and transparent.

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.

quality and transparency

We do none of these things because we have to but because we know them to be the right things to do.

In ALONE we continue to work hard every day to ensure that vulnerable older people have homes, friendship, comfort, support, security and as much independence as possible. We have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for our services in recent times and we expect this demand to rise in the years ahead as Ireland’s older population increases by 20,000 people annually. 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 a new service to support older people to age at home. We are confident that we can continue to meet the needs of these older people and support them to age at home.

Please note that all of our accounts, along with further information is published on the website. If you have any questions please don’t be afraid to ask. You can email sean.m@alone.ie, visit our website http://alone.ie/about-us/how-we-work-faqs/ or call us directly on 01 679 1032.

Kind Regards,

Sean Signature

Sean Moynihan

Chief Executive Officer

ALONE

 

ALONE “Oireachtas report on housing does not address crisis among older people”

Housing for older people is not included in report’s recommendations

Dublin, 17th June 2016  ALONE responded to the Oireachtas Committee’s recommendations on housing crisis and homelessness. The committee has recommended that local authorities provide 50,000 new social housing units by 2020 and the charity is calling on the government to ensure a percentage of these units are allocated to older members of our communities.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We are very concerned that the committee have failed to recommend any solutions for older people in the special housing needs section. We have a dramatically ageing population and while we welcome any measures to solve the current emergency, the government also needs plan for the long term housing needs of our population to avoid this crisis happening again. We are already seeing a crisis emerging among older people and it will only get worse unless dedicated action is taken.”

He continued, “We call on the government to build accommodation now to facilitate the emerging demographics of older people. There is a huge demand for 1 and 2 bed units, 44% of households on the social housing waiting lists are for singles.   We would like to see each of these new housing developments, recommended by the committee, include a percentage of smaller units dedicated to older people, similar to the Housing Agency’s Part V Programme. This would ensure that older people are well integrated within their communities and can access local amenities.”

The charity also commented on the committee’s recommendations for the rented sector: “In recent years we have seen a huge increase in the number of older people come to ALONE because they are no longer able to afford their private rented accommodation. If the landlord decides to increase the rent, or if the older person is no longer able to work, they have little or no hope of securing private rented accommodation again. The current market rates also means that many older people are currently living in below standard private rented accommodation, afraid to complain in case the landlord asks them to leave. While we don’t believe that the private rental sector is suitable for older people’s housing needs as a long term solution, we welcome the measures to increase security of tenure.

Moynihan concluded, “The number of over 65s living in the state is expected to reach 1.4m by 2046[1]. What will happen when this number of people stop working? It is critical that we start planning now for the housing needs of this ageing population. We commend the work of the committee on housing and homelessness but housing for older people needs to be included in the Government’s overall housing plan, sooner rather than 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. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work visit www.alone.ie

 [1] CSO, Population Labour Force and Projections 2016-2046, http://www.cso.ie/en/newsandevents/pressreleases/2013pressreleases/pressreleasepopulationandlabourforceprojections2016-2046/

ALONE’s Financial Report 2015

In ALONE we place transparency and accountability at the core of our values. It is a part of who we are and this has helped us build trust with the public, our volunteers and the older people we work with.

We have just published our 2015 Accounts (see here) and we are pleased to say that 100% of donations we receive continue to go on provision of services.

Last year saw us increase the number of older people we supported.  We worked with 764 individual older people who faced challenges around physical and mental health, housing, homelessness, isolation and loneliness, among other issues.  We will publish a detailed Annual Report in the coming weeks.

Along with this we hold ourselves to a high standard and are constantly improving. We are signed up to many quality standards and codes of best practice including:

If you have any questions, please contact us on enquiries@alone.ie

Government needs to listen to the organisations working on a day-to-day basis with older people

3rd June 2016  ALONE have commended and corroborated the report launched today by the Irish Association of Social Workers, Age Action and Alzheimer’s Association.  ALONE have long been advocating for additional home help hours and investment in community care.  Currently 75% of the government’s budget for care of older people is spent on the 6% of older people in nursing home care.

All of ALONE’s work focuses on supporting older people to age at home.  From their daily experience working with hundreds of older people ALONE recognise that home help hours are a vital element in the overall package of supports that older people need to age in the community.  ALONE work with the individual older person to coordinate the supports around their medical, social, financial and housing needs and address any obstacles that stops them ageing at home.

ALONE has a team of Support Coordinators who work to connect older people living alone with the necessary support services in their community. Every day the Support Coordinators experience the challenges outlined in today’s report. Without assistance from charities like ALONE it is incredibly difficult for older people to get access services like home help hours and as a result many are being forced into nursing homes before their time.

CEO of ALONE Sean Moynihan said, “We strongly advocate the findings outlined in this report, and feel that they largely support everything we’ve been fighting for over the last number of years. It’s time for the government to listen to the organisations working on a day-to-day basis with older people in need of care. Almost all organisations in the sector are aligned in their recommendations yet the government continues to pour money into costlier solutions. Community supports are proven to be more cost effective than nursing home care and it’s incredibly baffling that the government persists in ignoring these facts.

Moynihan continued, “On an individual and community level, we really need to look at how we want to take care of our older population. The older demographic is growing at an unprecedented rate and we need the government to back logical solutions, instead we are seeing the sector become increasingly privatised which we find extremely concerning”.

As part of their range of services, ALONE operates a model of Housing with Care where they support older people to age at home. This is a model where older people live independently with the relevant supports they need. Housing with Care is a cost conscious alternative to nursing homes which is better for the community and preferred by many older people, ALONE would welcome the opportunity to work with the government and expand this successful service.

Additional Home help hours are also key to easing crisis in hospitals – delayed discharges due to a lack of community supports are estimated to cost the HSE almost ½ million every night. Despite this, home help hours have been cut from 11.7 million in 2010 to 10.4m in 2016 and 2016’s budget for home supports is €324m while Nursing Homes Support Scheme is €940million.

 

ALONE welcome new government’s measures to support older people

ALONE hopeful that new government will implement services and housing options for older people

 Dublin, 6th May 2016  ALONE has welcomed new measures aimed at supporting older people that have been detailed in the programme for government. The incoming government has committed to an increase in the State pension and the living-alone allowance as well as a reduction in the cost of medicine and cutting the prescription charge for medical card holders, along with many more new measures.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented “ALONE welcomes the incoming government’s new measures to support older people. We hope that in the lifetime of this government that services in the community and housing options for older people will be developed and implemented. These issues featured in the general election manifestos of all the political parties and were widely supported by the independent candidates.”

He continued, “Every year Ireland has 20,000 additional older people and every year the issues around housing and services for older people grow in severity.  This new government needs to act now to plan for our ageing demographic.  We know what works and we know what older people need but we don’t have the resources to tackle this alone. We look forward to working with the government to put in place measure to support our ageing population and to make these improvements to the lives of older people a reality.”

Moynihan concluded, “We welcome the proposal to appoint a Minister for Housing and we are also asking for a Minister for our Ageing Demographic.”

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.