Dublin, 6th December 2016  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has today launched a video showing the positive impact of befriending for older people. In the video a number of older people, who avail of ALONE’s Befriending Service, thank their volunteers who have made a huge difference to their lives.

 

Check out ALONE’s Thank You Video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQzblWU0qxw

 

In Ireland, one third of older people live alone. ALONE’s Befriending Services provides companionship to over 500 older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. ALONE are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured befriending service.

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We have created this video to thank the hundreds of volunteers in ALONE who offer the Befriending Service to older people every week. This video shows what a difference a little friendship that make to the lives of older people who are living alone – their volunteers have become close friends and are a lifeline to them in times of need.”

 

He continued, “As an organisation that works with 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 concluded, “ALONE’s Befriending Service is a preventative health measure. We receive no day-to-day government funding for our services so we depend on donations. We hope that this video encourages the general public to offer their help and support to older people by donating to ALONE this Christmas.”

 

At Christmas, ALONE’s activities include; the organisation of 500 volunteers who visit older people each week, a Christmas dinner dance for older people and volunteers, the delivery of 500 Christmas hampers to older people in need and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for 100 older people.

 

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in their community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work this Christmastime visit www.alone.ie/donate .

ALONE – Show an older person you care this Christmas

Dublin, 23rd November 2016 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, today launched their Christmas campaign highlighting the isolation and loneliness of older people around Christmastime. At the launch of the campaign Anne Doyle, one of Ireland’s best loved broadcasters, urged members of the public to reach out to the older members of their community this Christmas and offer support to those who are living alone.

 

Anne Doyle commented at the launch, “I have been an admirer of the work of ALONE for many years and I am delighted to help them launch their Christmas campaign this year. Loneliness and isolation can be real problems for older people and it’s important that we are all aware of this.”

 

She continued “Today, with our hectic lifestyles, many of us know little or nothing about our neighbours. ALONE are asking people to check on their older neighbours, they may need something, even if it’s only your company and your time. If an older person knows someone is looking out for them it gives them an enormous sense of security and comfort. This Christmas let’s show them someone cares.”

 

As part of this year’s Christmas Campaign, ALONE is also urging older people not to be afraid to ask for the care and support they deserve and are entitled to.

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE’s Christmas Campaign this year is not just about charity, it’s about rights. Older people not only deserve to live with dignity but they have a right to. We want them to know that they have a right to be supported, to receive the care they need and to live in a place of their own choosing.”

 

He continued, “Over the winter period calls for support dramatically increase and loneliness is one of the main issues that older people face. Many older people think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. We want them to know that they deserve more than a little help and support and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. For those who may feel that they have no one to ask for help, ALONE offers supports and services that can link older people back in with their community and neighbours.”

 

ALONE say that there are a number of ways that the public can help an older person this Christmas some of these are; calling by an older persons house to say hello, ensuring they have enough food, medication and heat, bringing them out for a drive or to a social event and giving them a hand with their shopping.

 

At Christmas, ALONE’s activities include; the organisation of 300 volunteers who visit older people each week, a Christmas dinner dance for older people and volunteers, the delivery of hundreds of Christmas hampers to older people in need and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for a number of older people.

 

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in their community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work this Christmastime visit www.alone.ie

ALONE – “It is time for all charities in Ireland to get serious about quality and transparency”

Dublin, 3rd November 2016  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has today welcomed the launch of Charities Institute Ireland, a new regulatory body for charities. The organisation, which was formed through the merger of Fundraising Ireland and the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group (ICTR), represents 180 of Ireland’s main charities including ALONE.

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “ALONE are delighted to welcome this new regulatory body for charities in Ireland.  We hope that this initiative will encourage other charities to get serious about quality and transparency in order to restore public trust and confidence in the sector.”

 

ALONE was the first charity in Ireland to achieve the internationally recognised Quality in Befriending Award, the second organisation to receive the ISO Quality Standard for services delivery and it has also achieved the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard.

 

Moynihan continued, “In ALONE we take a leadership position around transparency and accountability. We have a strong ethos around how we manage money which has been donated and we respect the generosity and intention of all those who support ALONE because they share our passion to improve the lives of marginalised older people in need.”

 

Moynihan concluded, “We do none of these things because we have to but because we know them to be the right things to do. The launch of Charities Institute Ireland is a step forward for the charity sector. It is time that all charities in Ireland raised standards and the bar of trust. Charities Institute Ireland will implement transparency and accountable in all Irish charities and we believe that this is necessary to ensure the future of this sector.”

 

Established in 1977, ALONE is an independent charity that supports vulnerable older people to age at home.  They work with those who have issues with social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Supportive Coordination, Befriending, Supportive Housing and Campaigning services to hundreds of older people every week.  They receive no Government funding for their day-to-day activities so rely solely on the generosity of the public to continue their work.  ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

ALONE have received the following internationally recognised awards for their services:

  • ISO Quality Standard for services delivery.
  • Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard
  • Quality in Befriending Award

 

For more information on ALONE’s work and the charity’s external and internal audits visit www.alone.ie.

ALONE call on the general public to be mindful of their older neighbours this Halloween

ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is asking people to be mindful of vulnerable older people over the Halloween period. For many older people Halloween can be a distressing time with people calling to the door or setting off bangers and fireworks.

 

ALONE are asking parents, who may be out with children trick-or-treating, to keep an eye on their older neighbours. While many older people may welcome trick or treaters and want to engage in the fun of Halloween while others may not like to answer calls to their homes after dark. What a young person may consider to be harmless fun can be very frightening to someone who already feels vulnerable. Children and teenagers should be reminded not to disturb and upset people who may be fearful.

 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented “We are urging the public to keep an eye on their older neighbours, particularly those who may be living alone, and to consider their needs this Halloween.  We are not asking people to curtail their festive fun, but we are appealing for them to be aware of the older people in their community and to have some consideration for the effect Halloween activities may have on them.”

 

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 staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

ALONE pre-budget submission 2017 calls for an increase in home help hours to meet the needs of our ageing demographic

“Home help hours are a much more cost effective and person-centred way of supporting people with medium support needs to age at home rather than moving them into the nursing home system.”

2nd September 2016  ALONE is calling on the government to increase home help hours in line with demand to ensure that older people are supported to age in the community. The number of home help hours has been cut by 1.58 million since 2010. In that time, the number of older people in the state has increased by 18%[1].

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Repeated studies have demonstrated that ageing at home is the first choice of older people and their families. Numerous government policies have subscribed to this principle, not least the National Positive Ageing Strategy.

“Home help hours are a much more cost effective and person-centred way of supporting people with medium support needs to age at home rather than moving them into the nursing home system.

Nursing Homes play a key role in the care of the very old with high support needs. However, with Ireland’s older population is set to reach 1.4million over the next 30 years, the state’s statutory obligation to provide long-term residential care must be extended to community care.“

In this pre-budget submission, ALONE is also calling for an increase the rent supplement as they believe that homeless older people present the next housing crisis. In the last 6 months in particular ALONE has seen a dramatic increase in the number of homeless older people coming to them for help; a large portion of them having been evicted from private rented accommodation. The increased demand for private rented accommodation has led to soaring rents, making the rent supplement increasingly inadequate. As a result, older people are being pushed out of the market into homeless services.

In addition, ALONE is calling on the government to commit to the following in the Budget 2017:

  • Increase the state pension by implementing the triple lock model
  • Increase in the Living Alone Allowance in line with inflation
  • Abolish the €2.50 prescription charges

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 www.alone.ie.

 

 

[1] CSO, Population and Migration Statistics, August 2015, http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/pme/populationandmigrationestimatesapril2015/