ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week
ALONE volunteers make more than 35,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support each year

Dublin, 13th May 2019 ALONE, the charity that supports older people, is celebrating all those who dedicate their time to helping older people during National Volunteering Week starting on Monday 13th May.

Organised by Volunteer Ireland in partnership with the Network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services, this week is dedicated to highlighting volunteer work across Ireland.

Established by 30 volunteers 42 years ago, more than 1,500 ALONE volunteers now provide visits and telephone calls to older people who might be lonely or need extra social contact and support. Volunteer numbers are expected to hit 9,000 in the coming years in order to meet increasing demand for befriending and support.

Volunteering is an invaluable service to the community and can keep volunteers active, build stronger communities and change lives.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “On National Volunteering Week, we want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for everything they do week in, week out for older people. We can’t put a price on the support and benefit that volunteers bring. They change the lives for people when they need it most.”

“We hope that more people are encouraged by National Volunteering Week to get involved in something bigger than themselves. As our population ages, volunteers will be more vital than ever to help to combat loneliness and the issues we face as we get older. What is so special about volunteering is the benefits it brings to both involved, particularly the relationship between the volunteer and older person,” he said.

Josephine Lennon, ALONE volunteer, said: “I volunteer for ALONE because I believe that building a friendship with an older person is an invaluable gift not only for the older person but also for the volunteer. Spending time on a regular and ongoing basis with a person is a simple act. Listening and chatting, in an atmosphere of respect and kindness, is at the heart of each visit and such a pleasurable and rewarding activity. In fact it is a privilege to get the opportunity to make a small difference in another person’s life.

“Volunteering for ALONE has, for me, meant using my time to sit quietly and enjoy the company of an older person. It brings peace and a sense of joy. It is reminder of how precious life is and how interesting and unique each person’s life journey is.”

ALONE volunteers make more than 72,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support, both in person and over the phone, every year.

ALONE is always looking for more volunteers to expand their services and reach more people in need of assistance across Ireland. For more information and to learn how to offer your time to ALONE, please visit www.ALONE.ie/contact-us.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

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 encourage public to check in on older neighbours as Munster prepares for orange weather warning

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours
as Munster prepares for orange weather warning

Dublin, 26th April 2019 ALONE is urging older people to take extra care following the status orange weather warning issued for all of Munster by Met Éireann in preparation of Storm Hannah. In place from 4am today until early Saturday morning, severe and damaging winds of 65 to 80km/h are expected and gusts could reach 110 to 120km/h for a time tonight.

ALONE is advising older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed. ALONE is also 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.

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.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status orange weather warning for Munster counties, 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 be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”

Met Eireann have warned that wind warnings could be upgraded to Status Red level and will review all warning later today. A yellow wind warning is also in place for Connacht, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Donegal, Tipperary and Waterford between 11pm tonight and 9am Saturday.

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 who can 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.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

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 encourage public to check in on older neighbours as for yellow weather warning issued

PRESS RELEASE

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

Dublin, 26th April 2019 ALONE is urging older people to take extra care following the status yellow weather warning issued for Connacht, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Donegal, Tipperary and Waterford. In place from 10pm today until 9am Saturday morning, gale force winds are expected.

ALONE is advising older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed. ALONE is also 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.

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.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status yellow weather warning for across the country, 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 be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”

Met Éireann have issued a status orange warning to all of Munster as severe and damaging winds of 65 to 80km/h are expected and gusts could reach 110 to 120km/h for a time tonight. A review scheduled for later today may see this warning upgraded to status red as the area prepares for storm damage and possible power outages.

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 who can 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.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

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 welcomes announcement of €3M to tackle loneliness

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE welcomes announcement of €3M to tackle loneliness
The Loneliness Taskforce, established by ALONE and Sen. Keith Swanick, called for investment and responsibility of loneliness allocated to a specific Minister in June 2018

Dublin, 17th April 2019 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a €3 million fund, separate to the mental fund, which will be used to combat loneliness across Ireland. The move is welcome recognition from this Government of the seriousness of loneliness as a health issue and highlights the willingness to tackle it.

ALONE CEO, Seán Moynihan, collaborated with Senator Keith Swanick to form the Loneliness Taskforce, an initiative to coordinate a response to loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. The Loneliness Taskforce endeavours to increase awareness about the issue and to achieve the implementation of a set of recommendations set out for Government, state agencies and all policy makers.

Seán Moynihan, said of the announcement, “Today’s news is a significant achievement for the Loneliness Taskforce and the ongoing work across Ireland to highlight the loneliness epidemic, which is affecting people of all age groups. ALONE is proud to have worked on this for more than a year with Senator Swanick and the other members of the Taskforce. Our work has highlighted just how important this is to people across Ireland and we welcome the Government’s response.”

Moynihan continued, “Loneliness can seriously impact your physical and mental health, and evidence has shown 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. It is vital to support grassroots community organisations which have emerged because they have witnessed, first-hand, the need to combat loneliness, and to ensure supports are community-led. Many organisations are already working on this and we must make sure these receive adequate support. The €3 million funding announced this morning will go a long way to ensure that this happens.”

Considering loneliness and social isolation as one of the greatest public health risks today, the charity was grateful for a productive discussion with Minister Daly held in the Seanad recently and was glad to see the support for this issue and discussion points taken on board.

Moynihan commented, “Minister Daly has demonstrated considerable support for the work of ALONE and the Loneliness Taskforce over the last year and more. We are pleased to see that the issue of loneliness, under the heading of ‘civic connectedness’ will now be recognized under his remit as Minister for Mental Health. There is much work still to be done in research, campaigning and on other Loneliness Taskforce recommendations over the coming months and years but we hope that this just the beginning of this journey.”

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.

ENDS

About the Loneliness Taskforce
The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Senator Keith Swanick in collaboration with the CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan, to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. Members of the Taskforce include Professor John Hillery, Justin McNulty MLA, Professor Brian Lawlor, Dr Eddie Murphy, Professor Roger O’Sullivan, Sabrina McEntee, Sinead Dooley, Anne Lynott and Sean Gallagher.

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 and the Irish Gerontological Society partner to present ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’

Friend of ALONE, Vincent Browne, will moderate the symposium on 17th May 2019

Dublin 16th April 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, has partnered with the Irish Gerontological Society to present a symposium titled ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’. The event will take place in the Education Centre of St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, on 17th May.

Friend of ALONE, broadcaster Vincent Browne will moderate the seminar which will examine the issues facing Irish society as our ageing population continues to increase. Experts from the Department of Health, Social Justice Ireland, St Vincent’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St James’ Hospital will share insights and suggest solutions to better provide support for older people. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society believe that now is the time to discuss and plan how Ireland will support our ageing population.

Speakers on the day will include Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland; Karl Duff, Department of Health; Dr. Graham Hughes, Consultant Geriatrician, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Dr. Siobhán Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician, Connolly Hospital; Professor Brian Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist, St. James’s Hospital; Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, ALONE; Ciara O’Reilly, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Beaumont Hospital; and Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, President, Irish Gerontological Society.

Tickets to the seminar, and further information on the speakers and programme, are available through the IGS website at https://www.irishgerontology.com/events/living-well-our-community-opportunities-and-challenges

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, will discuss the importance of linking health and community services to best support those in need. “We are delighted to partner with the Irish Gerontological Society to present this symposium next month. I’m looking forward to an engaging session with experts dedicated to tackling the challenges we face in supporting older people across Ireland,” he said.

The announcement of the symposium comes following the recording of the highest ever number of patients waiting on trolleys in an Irish hospital in University Hospital Limerick last week. “Hospital overcrowding is one such challenge we consistently face in supporting people to live well in their community. Events like this symposium give us the opportunity to broaden the discussion and find innovative solutions for issues like these,” Moynihan continued.

“ALONE has been working on the frontline of community-led care for 40 years and we know just how important it is to open dialogue and explore how community groups, organisations, healthcare professionals, and government bodies can learn from each other and work together to support our country’s ageing population.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Irish Gerontological Society President, said, “ALONE’s partnership on this event and the engagement from participating speakers have been instrumental for providing an informed and rounded discussion on all aspects pertaining to older people. We’re looking forward to a stimulating day in St Vincent’s Hospital next month and to welcoming a multi-disciplinary audience to discuss and engage with these important issues.

Having age attuned pathways, both in our communities and hospitals will mean that if ill health, chronic illness, frailty or dementia affects an older person there are appropriate services in place to help them and their families. Addressing the challenge of delayed discharges from hospitals is one significant part of this challenge – those who end up staying in hospital longer than is good for them. The IGS will launch a position paper on this issue at the symposium.”

The importance of being able to age at home was highlighted by Kay Maddill, ALONE tenant: “I think home is your front door, home is your safety. Home is to have control over who comes and who doesn’t come.”

ENDS

NOTE TO THE EDITOR
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

ALONE calls on Dubliners to support older people as the first ever ‘ALONE Donation Day’ takes place on Thursday 4th April

 The charity will be fundraising across the city throughout the day with the help of Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly

 

Dublin 26th March 2019   ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, is asking Dubliners to give generously to volunteers fundraising across the city and for supporters nationwide to donate to ALONE online on Thursday 4th April, as it launches its first ‘ALONE Donation Day’.

Supporting older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties, the charity is reliant on donations to provide its services nationally.

Volunteers from Standard Life, Capita, the National Lottery and Credit Agricole Assurances, will be stationed across Dublin from 8am to 8pm, with a focus on South City centre hubs such as Camden Street, St Stephen’s Green and Grand Canal Dock.

They will be joined by special guest Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly, former bag man to the Irish rugby squad, who will also be raising funds for ALONE on the day.

The charity is encouraging anyone interested in donating to ALONE to look out for bucket collectors in the South Inner City or to donate to ALONE on their website, at www.alone.ie/donate.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We’re excited to bring our first ever ALONE Donation Day to the streets of Dublin on Thursday, 4th April. ALONE was founded in Dublin more than 40 years ago and today we want the people of Dublin to come together to support us and the older people in their community.”

“In 2017 we doubled the number of people we supported, but our donations increased by just 15%. We need the public to get behind us so that we can continue to support older people in the community. We are dependent on donations and are urging those living and working in Dublin City Centre to look out for ALONE volunteers and give as generously as they can.”

“We would like to offer a huge thanks to our volunteers from Standard Life, Capita, the National Lottery and Credit Agricole Assurances for offering their time and support.”

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit alone.ie or call (01) 679 1032.

ENDS

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

 

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 respond to Government’s Housing for Older People policy statement

Charity for older people has welcomed the report

Dublin, 27th February 2019  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has told Minister for Older People, Jim Daly TD, that they have welcomed the policy statement ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’ published today, as he paid a visit to the ALONE office this morning.

Minister Daly visited ALONE’s head office to view the charity’s assistive technology to support older people to age at home for longer.

A collaborative project between the Departments of Housing and Health, the policy statement examines housing options for older people in Ireland.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We welcome the Government’s statement on housing options for older people and the recognition from Minister Daly and Minister English that housing for older people needs an element of support.”

“There is an assumption that the housing needs of older people have already been met. Yet, the TILDA report shows that 58% of older people have problems with housing conditions. With a rapidly ageing population, we hope that this joint statement will bring about policy and housing models which prevent a housing crisis for older people in the years to come.”

He continued, “We are encouraged by the report’s recommendation to purpose build 30% of new houses to accommodate the country’s ageing population and to ensure that half of all new apartment developments align with the needs of older people and those with mobility issues. As we develop these supported housing options, it is also important to be conscious of community and social inclusion for older people,” he continued.

With first hand experience in providing housing for older people, ALONE has campaigned for a wide range of housing options to cater to the life-cycle and better match the level of care needed for people who want to remain living independently.

According to ALONE’s own housing report, ‘Housing Choices for Older People: Time for Action’ released last year, building one- and two-bedroom homes for older people can increase their housing options and help to mitigate the housing crisis among larger families, saving money in building costs for larger homes.

Moynihan commented, “Regardless of age, everyone wants to have their own front door. Providing a spectrum of housing options with supports works to maintain independence and choice for every older person. From a care perspective, this also lessens the reliance on hospital and nursing home care which can incur large costs.”

Moynihan concluded, “It is vitally important that we provide choice in housing to older people to enable them to age in surroundings comfortable to them. Our research has shown that funding housing with support options, through adaptation grants and purpose-built housing, will save government money and protect the independence of the older person.”

The charity welcomed the Government’s research into ‘right-sizing’ which indicated that with incentives, 15% of older people would consider moving to a different home in their community.

 

Click for more information on ALONE’s report ‘Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action’.

 

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

 

 

 

Minister Jim Daly views ALONE’s BConnect assistive technology

The Minister for Older People visited the charity’s head office today

Dublin, 27th February 2019 The Minister for Older People, Jim Daly, today visited the office of ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, to meet with the team bringing BConnect assistive technology to older people.

Developed to support older people to continue living independently for longer, ALONE will roll out their technology to more than 270 older people this year, with a focus on rural areas.

The app and technology enables older people to stay linked in with support services, self-monitor their health and activity, and feel secure and supported in their home. The technology includes ALONE’s BWell app, home sensors, a smart watch and alarm button.

Speaking from the visit to ALONE this morning, Minister Daly said, “I am delighted to see such innovation inspired to help Ireland’s older people. The pioneering work of ALONE in this area is going a long way to help change the future of independent living as we age and I look forward to the feedback from the initial rollout.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “At ALONE we see the challenges posed by an ageing demographic. We are working to meet them by reimagining our services and making the most of technological advances to provide the best support we can to older people and the people and organisations who care for them.”

Moynihan continued, “Our team has worked tirelessly to develop a range of technology that provides impactful support and remains accessible to all those using the technology, from the older person, their family and support workers.”

BConnect is developed by ALONE in partnership with Netwell CASALA and with support from the Social Innovation Fund’s THINKTECH grant. It is the first platform of its kind which ties together the older person, volunteers, family and healthcare professionals through one data management system. ALONE hopes that BConnect will revolutionise ageing at home and in the community.

The technology will shortly be rolled out to a group of 60 older people living in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon with funding received under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2018[1].

The BConnect platform has already won the first ever FreedomTech Award 2017 at a conference on assistive technology. Dublin. The FreedomTech Assembly was run by Enable Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI).

 

ENDS

 

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

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

[1]2.1.4 Effective utilisation of technology to support older people to live in their communities

ALONE launch BConnect technology pilot for older people living in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon

The charity has received €169,365 funding under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan

Galway, 22nd February 2019  ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, has announced a pilot programme to provide its BConnect supportive technology to 60 older people in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The programme was launched by Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Seán Canney TD, in the PorterShed, Galway today.

Funding of €169,365 received under the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan 2018[1] will be used to provide ALONE’s BConnect technology and support to 60 older people who use the services of Clúid and St Vincent de Paul.

Every older person will be provided with a tablet with ALONE’s BWell app, and will have smart home technology (BHome) installed, which will enable them to stay linked in with support services, self-monitor their health and activity, and feel secure and supported in their home.

The funds will also support the position of Community Coordinator, who will engage with local community organisations and work with both new and existing befriending and support services in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

It is hoped that the learnings from the pilot will be used to make ALONE’s BConnect technology available across the country.

Minister Canney said at the launch, “Ireland is looking ahead to an ageing demographic and it is essential that we are working to provide the best quality of care across urban and rural areas. Innovation in care by organisations such as ALONE offers huge benefits to older people and their families as they pursue independent living as they age. It is fantastic to see such a pioneering programme in place for the older people of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE is delighted to have the support of the Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan and to be working with Clúid and St Vincent de Paul to further the development and implementation of BConnect technology and community supports. With the help of advancements in technology and the support of ALONE staff, older people will be able to age at home independently for longer.”

Moynihan continued, “At ALONE we see the challenges posed by an ageing demographic. We are working to meet them by reimagining our services and making the most of technological advances to provide the best support we can to older people and the people and organisations who care for them. It is fantastic to be able to provide our services to people in the West of Ireland directly for the first time and we hope that this is just the beginning of our journey.”

ALONE BConnect provides technology and community supports to create connections between older people and the support organisations they need. BConnect offers smart technology, knowledge-sharing, and training opportunities to support people to live independently at home.

ALONE’s most recent Annual Report cited a sizable growth in the demand for its services, echoing Ireland’s rapidly changing demographic and the continued difficulties faced by older people across the country. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, the need for services to support older people will only grow.

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit alone.ie or call (01) 679 1032.

 

22//02/2019 Repro free Pictured are:
Seán Kyne TD is Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sophie Ainscough, BConnect manager, Seán Canney TD, Minister of State for the Department of Rural and Community Development and Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE.
Photo:Andrew Downes XPOSURE .

ENDS

 

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

 

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

 

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

 

[1] 2.1.4 Effective utilisation of technology to support older people to live in their communities

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours as yellow weather warning updated

PRESS RELEASE

Dublin, 29th January 2019   ALONE is urging older people to take extra care following the status yellow weather warning issued nationwide by Met Éireann. Significant accumulations of snow and temperatures as low as -3C are expected as part of the warning, which is in place from Tuesday morning until 6pm on Saturday.

ALONE is advising older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed. ALONE is also 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.

Older people can be more vulnerable during cold weather and snowy conditions. Older people most at risk include those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “We must all be conscious of the advice from Met Éireann, especially as the update this morning pointed to an increased concern of snowfall. We are asking members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs, such as food, essentials or possibly medication pick up. We’re advising older people to stay indoors where possible once the cold weather takes hold, and to take care in order to avoid falls on ice or sleet.”

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 who can 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.

 

ENDS

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

 

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