ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours as orange weather warning issued

PRESS RELEASE

 Dublin, 11th October 2018  ALONE, the charity which supports older people, is urging older people to take extra care following the status orange weather warnings by Met Éireann as Storm Callum is expected to hit Ireland later today. Strong winds of 130km/h and coastal flooding are expected in parts of the country.

Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions due to the increased risk of falls and injury. More than one in five older people live alone, while one in ten older people are frail. Older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

ALONE is calling on family, friends and neighbours to check on older people in their community and assist them if they need to travel to the local shop or post office during the bad weather. ALONE is also asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the strong winds to call for assistance and help if needed.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status orange weather warnings from Met Éireann, we are calling on members of the public in the affected areas to remember their older relatives and neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to stay indoors where possible once the storm arrives.”

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

Those who have concerns for an older person, or older people in need of assistance can contact ALONE on (01) 679 1032. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance, and works in partnership to ensure all calls for assistance are responded to. ALONE can assist and advise on issues relation to food, heat, or medication. Older people are also advised to have a list of important phone numbers close to their home phone.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

 

 

This World Mental Health Day, ALONE encourages older people to reach out

PRESS RELEASE

 

Dublin, 10th October 2018  This World Mental Health Day on 10th October, ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is urging older people to reach out and talk if they are in need of support surrounding loneliness and mental health.

The charity is highlighting the importance of maintaining mental health into older age and encouraging those who struggle with mental health to help to break the stigma which still surrounds it, urging them to ‘Make today the day you reach out’.

One in 10 older people suffer from chronic loneliness, and 1 in 20 older people have suffered a depressive episode.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “It is vitally important that mental health is seen as an important factor in maintaining the health of older people. This World Mental Health Day we are encouraging older people to lift the phone or speak to someone if they are struggling with loneliness or other mental health issues. Although we have made a lot of progress in fighting the stigma against mental health and loneliness, we have found that many older people are still apprehensive about admitting they may be feeling lonely or have a mental health problem.”

He continued, “Loneliness is an essential predictor of depression in older people. Evidence highlights that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. Loneliness can cause depression, stress and other illnesses. A regular phone call or visit from ALONE offering friendship and support can have a substantial lifting effect. 20% of people who come to ALONE are self-referred and we hope that people will continue to pick up the phone and make the call.”

Moynihan, who spoke yesterday at the Campaign to End Loneliness Conference in the UK about loneliness in Ireland, also welcomed the additional funding to mental health in yesterday’s Budget. “We welcomed the additional funding to mental health funding in yesterday’s budget. However, we hope that some of this funding will be ringfenced for combating loneliness. As our population ages, it is vital to put structures in place which will enable people to age happily and securely.”

Don Smith, who was befriended by ALONE, described how being befriended by ALONE helped him to overcome loneliness: “Loneliness is what happens when you stop living your life to the full and become an observer. It can be brought on by retirement, sickness, bereavement or accident. The good news is that it can be overcome! A single phone call to a friendly voice can change your life,” he said.

ALONE recently supported LGBT Ireland with its launch of the National Helpline Poster Campaign for older people, with Eilish O’Carroll, actress who plays Winnie McGoogan from Mrs Brown’s Boys, launching the campaign. The poster campaign aims to raise awareness of their helpline and support services available to older LGBT people and also aims to raise visibility of older LGBT people with mainstream services.

This World Mental Health Day, 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.

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. For more information about ALONE visit www.alone.ie

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

ALONE call for focused Government support of older people as Budget 2019 is released

PRESS RELEASE

Charity for older people responds to Budget 2019

Dublin, 9th October 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the increase to the state pension announced this afternoon as part of Budget 2019, but has stated that further government action is needed to support Ireland’s older people.

Following today’s Budget 2019 announcement, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Today’s Budget shows some promise for older people. However, it does not go far enough, particularly concerning housing and homecare issues.”

Moynihan continued, “While we welcome the €5 increase to the pension, this is below the National Pensions Framework target of 35% of average earnings, which would require a €13 increase to the state pension. For pensioners living alone in rural areas, the income from a contributory pension will only meet the cost of 85% of their expenses. We had hoped that this year’s budget would reach the halfway point of an increase of €6.50 and are disappointed to note the increase is delayed until March 2019.”

In terms of social benefits announced for older people, Moynihan commented, “The restoration of the Christmas bonus will be a welcome relief for many older people in the run-up to the holidays. The extension of the fuel allowance to 28 weeks is also encouraging, but as one in ten older people are unable to keep their home adequately warm, we believe that this should have been restored to 32 weeks. Similarly, the Living Alone allowance directly impacts the living conditions of older people across the country and we had hoped that an increase to €14 per week might be introduced.“

In response to 50c reduction in prescription charges for over-70’s and updated health care costs, Seán Moynihan commented, “The reduction is a move in the right direction as the prescription charge has had serious health implications for older people over the last number of years. Likewise, the reduced threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme by €10 and the increase of income thresholds by €25 for GP visit cards will hopefully lighten the financial burden when an older person’s health requires attention.”

Despite much discussion over the past number of days, the ‘granny-flat grant’ was not included in Budget 2019. The rejection of this project has been supported by ALONE, who expressed concern over the practicalities of the scheme.

Considering measures to combat the housing crisis, Seán Moynihan said, “The focus should be on providing housing with supports for older people and further funding to the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme, in order to prevent a larger crisis to come. The increase in funding for Housing Adaptation Grants to €57million, from €53 million, will enable up to 11,800 adaptations to better facilitate older people to age in their own homes.”

Moynihan said, “ALONE has conducted a robust assessment into housing solutions for older people and strongly recommend the development of housing choices inspired by the life-cycle. Our suggestions are fully outlined in our housing report ‘Housing Options for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action’, which we hope will influence the housing investment announced by the Minister for Finance today.”

While an increased homecarers credit of €300 to €1,500 per year was welcomed, ALONE are disappointed that no increase to homecare was included in Budget 2019. This follows a pre-budget submission by the charity calling for an increase of €102 million in Home Support Hours.

The charity also welcomed the government’s investment of €84 million to mental health funding. Having established the Loneliness Taskforce in collaboration with Senator Keith Swanick earlier this year, the charity is working to highlight the impact loneliness can have towards the health and well-bring of older people throughout Ireland. The Loneliness Taskforce is calling for €3 million of this new funding to be assigned to loneliness and social isolation.

ENDS

About ALONE
Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

Leading NGOs Call for additional € 100 million Investment in Home Care in Budget 2019

1st October 2018
A group of Irelands’ leading not for profit organisations and campaigners came together today to highlight the urgent need for investment in home care services pending the introduction of a statutory home care scheme.

While the Department of Health’s plan to establish a statutory homecare scheme by 2021 is welcomed by all groups, people who require home care and their families cannot wait until then to see services improve. Pending the introduction of the statutory scheme, interim measures are urgently needed to address the home care crisis which is seeing thousands of people stuck in hospitals or forced into residential care when they could return or stay at home if appropriate care was provided.

The majority of people coping with the effects of ill health and disability want to remain living in their homes. This includes a large number of older people and people with long-term progressive illnesses, or terminal illnesses. As a society we are failing to provide these people and their carers’ with the level of support they need.

“Home care is often seen and used as a solution to the hospital crisis, but it should be seen as an integral part of long-term care in its own right,” stated a spokesperson for the group. “The difference that appropriate home care can make to a person and their 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. We are calling on the Government to urgently increase investment in home care in Budget 2019 in line with Government policy to provide the majority of care close to or at home.”

Our ageing population as well as those with disabilities require 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 population and the increase in the number of people with disabilities. Home Support Hours should be increased by at least 25 percent in budget 2019.

Home care is also vital in supporting Ireland’s 355,000 family carers, who provide the vast majority of care for people at home. The system relies heavily on these family carers who provide nearly €10bn worth of care every year and who need our support.

Research 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 in 2016 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 than in community-based care, despite the fact that Government policy is to support people to remain at home. Recent research by Dr Maeve D’Alton of James Connolly Hospital found that almost half of home care recipients felt they were getting insufficient home care support.

Spending on Nursing Home care in 2018 will be almost 2.5 times more than spending on home care – € 962 million spent on Fair Deal as opposed to € 412 million on homecare.

This group is calling on the Government to urgently increase investment in home care in Budget 2019 in line with Government policy to provide the majority of care close to or at home.

This call is supported by the following organisations:

Active Retirement Ireland
Acquired Brain Injury
Age Action
Age and Opportunity
ALONE
Care Alliance Ireland
Cheshire Ireland
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland
Disability Federation of Ireland
Family Carers Ireland
Irish Association of Social Workers
Irish Heart Foundation
Irish Hospice Foundation
Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
MS Ireland
National Women’s Council of Ireland
Neurological Alliance of Ireland
Sage Advocacy
The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
Third Age

 

homecare, right, budget
NO REPRO FEE 1/10/2018 Leading NGOs today called for an additional € 100 million Investment in Home Care in Budget 2019. A group of Irelands’ leading not for profit organisations and campaigners came together today to highlight the urgent need for investment in home care services pending the introduction of a statutory home care scheme. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

For media queries please contact Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland Tel: 086 8521611 or Sean Moynihan, ALONE Tel: 086 3852388

 

1.https://researchrepository.ucd.ie/bitstream/10197/7670/1/IASW.AGE_ACTION.ASI.UCD_Research_Report_on_Care_of_Older_People_2016.pdf
2. The Patient Experience of Home Care Services. Maeve D’Alton, Keneilwe Malomo, Avril Beirne, Fionn Mag Uidhir, Eimear Short, Marie O’ Connor, Eamon Dolan. James Connlly Memorial University Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, Ireland.

ALONE pre-budget submission calls for investment across housing, health and social protection departments

Press Release

Dublin, 28th September 2018  ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today outlined its pre-budget submission, which calls for action across the Department of Employment and Social Protection, Department of Health and Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

With home ownership dropping and more than one third of over-50s suffering from loneliness, ALONE believe it is vital that the Government takes measures to address the issues faced by an ageing population.

Among its submissions, the charity has identified four major issues affecting older adults, which demand government response:

  • Finance, pensions and benefits
  • Supply of appropriate housing
  • Cost of healthcare
  • Loneliness and social isolation

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “This year we will support 4,000 older people to age at home. Our submissions have arisen from what we have heard directly from the older people we work with. Budget 2019 is an opportunity to make meaningful steps in improving the lives of older people. ALONE’s work clearly demonstrates that effective, forward thinking government policies are required to prepare Ireland for our ageing population.”

 

Finance, Pension and Benefits

Finance is the third most common issue faced by older people who come to ALONE, following loneliness and housing.

ALONE is calling on the government to raise pension rates by €6.50 in Budget 2019, as part of a plan to bridge the gap between the current pension rate and the Contributory State Pension payment target of 35% of average earnings.

ALONE is also calling for:

  • Restoration of the Christmas Bonus to 100%
  • Increase in the Living Alone allowance to €14 a week
  • Restoration of the Fuel Allowance to 32 weeks and to maintain the current value

 

Housing Adaptation Grants

With the substantial shortage of residential accommodation, Ireland’s housing crisis is set to continue. The population of over 60s is expected to grow from 866,317 in 2016 to over 1.3 million in 2031.

Already, 20.7% (234,848) of older people have housing facility problems, which could include lack of an indoor flushing toilet, lack of a bath or shower, lack of downstairs bathroom facilities, and other issues. However, home adaptation grants are difficult to access for many older people as they require the person to have money up front to pay for building deposits. They also involve a lengthy application process, and the grants are not resourced to meet demand.

ALONE is calling for:

  • €84.5m per year over the next 10 years in grant funding through the Housing Aid for Older People scheme, with improved accessibility.

 

Cost of Healthcare

Along with more than 20 other organisations, ALONE is advocating for the right to homecare. The Government’s own Sláintecare report estimates that the cost of meeting unmet need in home care provision is €120 million.

While we work towards the right to homecare, ALONE is calling for Home Support Hours to be increased by at least 25 percent at a cost of €102 million.

ALONE is calling for:

  • €102 million funding for Home Support Hours.

 

Loneliness

More than one third of over-50s suffer from loneliness. Evidence highlights that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. ALONE has collaborated with Senator Keith Swanick to form the Loneliness Taskforce to coordinate a response to loneliness, and has offered recommendations to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

ALONE is calling for:

  • Annual funding of €3m towards combating loneliness, by running a public information campaign, supporting initiatives and organisation which alleviate loneliness, and funding Irish-specific research.

 

An independent charity, ALONE provides direct services through coordination of supports, befriending, information, phone services, technology, practical help and housing. The charity also supports over 50 organisations nationwide which ensures access to consistent, quality-assured and impact-proven services.

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 at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

Bag packing in aid of ALONE

ALONE are holding a bag packing day on Saturday the 20th of October in SuperValu Dun Laoghaire.

We are looking for volunteers to help for 2 or 3 hours between 10am to 6pm. This will include packing bags at tills and holding buckets.

If you are interested in helping out email Fundraising@alone.ie with your name, number and the times you can volunteer between.

Thank you!

Fundraising in aid of charity | ALONE

ALONE expresses concern for older people following orange weather warning

Dublin, 19th September 2018  ALONE, the charity which supports older people in need, is urging older people to take extra care following the status orange and yellow wind warnings by Met Éireann as Storm Ali hits Ireland. With severe winds of 143km/h in some areas, power supply to some areas has already been affected.

Met Éireann said, “There will be severe or possibly damaging gusts for a time this morning especially in the west and northwest. Extreme caution is advised in the coastal districts of Clare, Connacht and Donegal this morning with Strong Gale and storm force winds here. Squally showery rain will affect many areas at first, with heavy bursts in places.”

Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions. Older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. ALONE is calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need to travel to the local shop or post office during the bad weather. ALONE is also asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status orange and yellow weather warnings from Met Éireann, we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to stay indoors where possible.”

Those who have concerns for an older person, or older people in need of assistance can contact ALONE on (01) 679 1032. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance, and works in partnership to ensure all calls for assistance are responded to. ALONE can assist and advise on issues relation to food, heat, or medication. Older people are also advised to have a list of important phone numbers close to their home phone.

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

 

ALONE call for greater housing options for older people as the Land Development Agency is launched

PRESS RELEASE

Charity supporting older people has called for a spectrum of housing options

Dublin, 14th September 2018  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed yesterday’s launch of the state-sponsored Land Development Agency (LDA), but is urging that housing options for older people are carefully considered.

Following the announcement to create 150,000 new homes over the next 20 years and provide long-term stability in the housing market, ALONE is calling on the LDA to develop a range of housing options in keeping with the demands of Ireland’s ageing population. In a report published in July, “Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action”, ALONE’s research highlighted the need for a new spectrum of housing which considers the needs of older people from a health, community and social inclusion perspective, but also showed a need for different price points.

With the LDA committing 40% of land to social (10%) and affordable (30%) housing, the charity is recommending that innovative housing developments will be provided to offer meaningful housing choices for people as they age. To effectively cope with our ageing population, ALONE is calling for 59,462 purpose built homes within communities, 45,902 supportive housing and housing with support units, 16,307 shared housing units and 13,000 new nursing home spaces.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We certainly welcome the announcement of the new Land Development Agency and would ask the LDA to consider the research gathered by ALONE which stresses the need for a spectrum of housing options for older people. At present, if an older person is in need of support, often their only option is to move into a nursing home. The lack of intermediate supports is costing the Government financially, and costing older people their choice to age at home.”

He continued, “The LDA’s promise of ‘housing and strategic redevelopment’ should be inclusive of Ireland’s older people, particularly as we anticipate the population of over 60s to increase to over 1 million by 2021, and 1.3 million by 2031. Supporting the LDA’s goal to improve supply and future competitiveness, our research has shown that funding housing with support options will save government money, while also protecting the independence of the older person.”

Seán Moynihan concluded, “It’s vital that new housing developments are created with a conscious social mix of families, young professionals and older people to ensure that communities are fostered as Ireland works to increase the supply of homes.”

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 at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

Read more on ALONE’s report, “Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action”, here: https://bit.ly/2A1GT3M

ENDS

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports 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:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

 

The Bucket List Project

The Ink Factory and ALONE are organising a fundraising event called The Bucket List Project, to tackle ageism in Ireland.

The project includes a series of videos from 5 older people who will be getting tattoos from The Ink Factory on the 9th of September.

Throughout the videos, each older person describes their situation before contacting ALONE such as suffering from homelessness, loneliness or financial difficulties. They then go onto talk about how ALONE has helped them and what tattoo they will be getting as part of The Bucket List Project.

To sponsor our amazing older people, please donate HERE.

Donations to the page will help ALONE to continue supporting older people to age at home. You will also be entered into a competition to win a free full day sitting tattoo.

See each persons video below.

Also hear from The Ink Factory and ALONE CEO, Seán Moynihan.

Comedy Night at the Laughter Lounge

ALONE are hosting a comedy fundraiser at The Laughter Lounge on Thursday the 18th of October at 7pm. The hilarious Willie White will be one of the acts on the night and there will be 3 more acts released shortly.

Laughter Lounge host comedy gig in aid of ALONE.
ALONE are having a fundraising event in the Laughter Lounge on the 18th of October.

All ticket payments will go towards ALONE. A charity that supports older people to age at home, through Support Coordination, Befriending, Housing with Support and Campaigning.

Early Bird tickets cost €25, this will include your ticket for a seat at the event, postage of your ticket and a free drink/cocktail before 7.30pm.

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

After the comedy show, there will be a late bar with a DJ.

Please help us to support older people to age at home, while enjoying a fun night out!