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!

Neil Delamere hosts Pub Quiz in aid of ALONE

Award-winning comedian Neil Delamere will be hosting a Pub Quiz on Wednesday the 26th of September in The Old Punch Bowl.

Comedian Neil Delamere does charity quiz.

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

The Irish star is known for his appearances on RTE and BBC as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours. He will be bringing his quick wit to the quiz in aid of charity.

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 are €12. This includes entry and participation in the quiz.

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

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

ALONE announce pilot of THE HomeShare service

PRESS RELEASE

Charity supporting older people is partnering with THE HomeShare for three-month pilot

Dublin, 17th August: ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has announced a three-month pilot of THE HomeShare services across the country.

Homeshare matches people who need companionship and some practical help to live independently at home (householder) with people who need accommodation (homesharers). ALONE, in partnership with THE HomeShare, will pilot this initiative with ALONE service-users.

The pilot will run for three months from August 1st to October 31st. The partnership aims to assist an ageing population to remain in their own homes, with suitable supports, while also offering affordable accommodation for younger people at a time of record housing shortages.

THE HomeShare pilot initiative comes just weeks after ALONE’s report, Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action, estimated a demand for homesharing to have reached 1,000 places nationwide.

Homesharing involves two unrelated people sharing a home for mutual benefit. Typically, an older householder with a spare room will be carefully matched with a younger homesharer, who has successfully completed a comprehensive approval process. In exchange for low cost accommodation, homesharers will provide an agreed level of support. This may include help with daily tasks such as cleaning, shopping, gardening, overnight security and companionship.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE hopes to greatly increase awareness of THE HomeShare service with older people, their families and service providers in the community. This initiative offers huge potential to help older people, who may be struggling with loneliness or household tasks, and young professionals who are facing increasing high rents.”

He continued, “Homesharing is not a replacement for carers or housekeepers, but it can make a meaningful difference for the well-being of older people living alone. Companionship and peace of mind, knowing that they’re not alone in their home, can really help to maintain an older person’s independence.”

Lucie Cunningham, Managing Director of THE HomeShare, said, “We are delighted to be partnering with ALONE on this pilot project. We want to offer our services to as many older people as possible so that they have another option to support them to age at home for longer. ALONE fits well with our ethos and I hope that by working together, we can raise awareness of THE HomeShare’s ability to solve the housing difficulties of older and younger people alike.”

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

 

ALONE and The Ink Factory team up to combat ageism

PRESS RELEASE

‘Bucket Listers’ prepare to get inked

 

Dublin, 10th August 2018  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has teamed up with The Ink Factory to provide five ALONE service-users with a tattoo of their choosing.

This week, ALONE and The Ink Factory have released a video introducing the Bucket Listers project which aims to empower older people by fighting the stigma around ageing. For the next four weeks, regular videos will introduce the Bucket Listers, a group of five people who are assisted by the efforts of ALONE. These videos will outline each person’s experience with ALONE and their hopes for their new tattoo, before they each get inked by The Ink Factory artists on Sunday, 9th September.

Through the Bucket Listers project, The Ink Factory will raise funds for ALONE by inviting the public to sponsor each person’s tattoo. 100% of online donations will go directly to ALONE.

Priding itself on its inclusive atmosphere, The Ink Factory approached ALONE with the idea to challenge assumptions and encourage ALONE service-users to take them up on a free tattoo.

Tom Lynch, owner of The Ink Factory, said, “We’re delighted to team up with ALONE to launch the Bucket Listers project to both raise funds for this amazing charity and fight the negative perceptions met by older people. Inclusivity is a major part of the Ink Factory DNA and we’re excited for our artists to donate their talents on 9th September, providing a tattoo for each of the five lovely older people taking part.”

“I’ve been with ALONE for the last 12 months. They’ve been very good to me over the year. When I signed up with them, I was losing my own home,” says Michael McCarthy, who is one of the Bucket Listers. “It’s very important as you get older to have friends, and that’s what I like about ALONE.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE was excited when the Ink Factory reached out with this fantastic idea and the enthusiasm only grew when we approached our service-users. Too often we find that people have a perception that older people are traditional, and aren’t open to new experiences. This is a great opportunity for the participants to express themselves in a new way and we hope it’ll encourage older people to feel empowered and show that life isn’t over when you get older.”

If you want to sponsor an ALONE service-user’s tattoo, go to https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/the-bucket-list-project

To watch the first video, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG599PI2ZsU&feature=youtu.be

 

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

ALONE celebrates opening of 11 new apartments for older people at risk of homelessness

PRESS RELEASE

Charity for older people welcomes new tenants to refurbished homes

Dublin, 24th July 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, celebrated the completed refurbishment and tenanting of 11 new units of housing for older people in Earls Court, Dublin 8 today. Cllr Sonya Stapleton, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy TD, attended the launch and visited residents in their new homes.

ALONE acquired the units to house older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as part of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan. The purchase was made possible with funding from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through Dublin City Council (DCC), combined with loan finance advanced by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).

Since May, ALONE has renovated the homes to an age-friendly standard with assistance from Community Finance Ireland (CFI). Throughout the renovation process, over 150 volunteers took part in 11 corporate volunteer days to paint and clean apartments in anticipation of their new residents. Over the coming days, ALONE staff will continue to move tenants into their new homes.

Now tenants of ALONE, these older people have security of tenure. ALONE staff will provide flexible support levels as the person’s needs change. ALONE volunteers will provide friendship, social events, and practical supports. All tenants will also be offered ALONE’s assistive technology, BConnect, if and when required.

Cllr Stapleton said, “Since the purchase of these units in April of this year, ALONE has worked tirelessly to provide suitable, age-friendly and comfortable homes for older people in need of permanent accommodation. Their journey over the past few months has shown how meaningful impact can be made by such projects and offers encouragement to similar organisations as we work collaboratively to solve the housing crisis.”

Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, said, “I am delighted to be part of the formal opening of this special project delivering these much needed homes. This project reflects the Government’s commitment to providing homes for people in their area of choice further empowering people to stay in their communities and safeguard the quality of life for all who live within them. I am witnessing on a daily basis the endeavors of the AHB sector to provide appropriate housing solutions. Earls Court perfectly demonstrates how the Sector, working with Local Authorities, are responding in a focused way to this challenge and ensuring people are supported as their needs change throughout their lifetime. ALONE have developed a very worthy project here with these high-quality purpose-built homes, delivered through a collaborative and holistic approach, which will benefit the community as a whole.’”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Earls Court marks ALONE’s largest acquisition of property and we are delighted to be providing new tenants with the keys to their homes. We’re focused on removing the instability many have experienced and hope to more than double our housing units over the next five years, to continue supporting the growing number of older people in need. As outlined in ALONE’s housing report launched last week, a range of housing options for older people is urgently needed and these units are a step towards this goal.”

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, 086 233 6033

ALONE report calls on the Oireachtas to take action to prevent a housing crisis for older people

The report is available online now: Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action

PRESS RELEASE

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

Dublin, 12th June 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is calling on the Oireachtas to provide €84.5m a year over the next 10 years in the form of home adaptation grants and to develop an additional 122,000 units of housing for older people.

The calls come as the charity releases its report ‘Housing Choices For Older People in Ireland – Time for Action’ today.

ALONE’s report calls for a greater spectrum of housing for older people under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, saying there is a need for “innovative thinking and initiatives to offer meaningful housing choices to people as they age.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said “We believe that now is the time for action on housing for older people. Over the last 30 years we have seen many reports which have called for changes in housing provision for older people. Now, we have established the demand for the various types of housing and we need the Oireachtas to act on it.”

“We are glad to see the recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing for Older People this week which are taking the first step towards developing housing for all. It is great that the Joint Oireachtas Committee agrees that we must start working on this now. We hope that the various Ministers, TDs and Senators will get behind our report and implement real change for older people. 25% people over 55 (283,633 people) are experiencing problems with housing maintenance, and 20% (234,848) have housing facility problems. But 29% of people would consider moving to adapted housing if it was available to them.”

ALONE is calling for 59,462 purpose built homes within communities, 45,902 supportive housing and housing with supports units, 16,307 shared housing units and 13,000 new nursing home spaces. While this is significantly higher than the total target of Rebuilding Ireland to deliver 50,000 social housing units by 2021, ALONE believe that these targets are the minimum required in order to cope with our ageing population.

“There is a pressing need for change as we expect the population of over 60s in Ireland to increase to over 1 million by 2021, and 1.3 million by 2031. If the numbers of older people are increasing, services and housing provision need to increase to match it. ALONE is here today to offer a solution which will not only support older people to age in the location of their choice, but will help to ease the housing crisis across all age groups,” he said.

“The benefits of building housing for older people as a solution to the housing crisis have never been fully discussed, but we believe that this could go a long way towards improving housing for everyone. The cost of building smaller homes for older people is estimated to be between €10,000 and €20,000 cheaper per unit than building three and four bed family homes. This would enable savings of €150m for every 10,000 one and two bed homes built, as older people choose to ‘rightsize’ and move to more suitable accommodation with the appropriate supports in place. It would also make larger properties available to bigger families.”

The report stresses that a new spectrum of housing such as that proposed by ALONE should not only take into consideration the needs of older people from a health, community and social inclusion perspective, but also show an awareness of the need for different price points. ALONE believes that older people should be enabled to have options in their housing, rather than being limited in their choice by their support needs.

“Currently, if an older person is in need of support, sometimes their only choice is to move into a nursing home. This lack of intermediate supports is costing the Government through the Fair Deal scheme and costing older person their choice to remain at home.”

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

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, 086 233 6033

Tips for taking care in the warm weather

With a Met Éireann yellow status warning in place from 11am Thursday until 9pm on Friday, 29th June, ALONE are urging older people to avoid direct sunlight for extended periods and to stay well hydrated.

As temperatures are reaching record highs, it’s important that older people, families and wider communities understand the potential health impacts of the heat. ALONE has tips for older people to take care in the warm weather:

 

  • Avoid too much direct sunlight. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Wear a high factor sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. If you have one, wear a hat to protect your head.
  • Take time to rest.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even if you don’t always feel thirsty. Older people’s receptors for thirst are less keen, so they can go for extended periods without feeling the need to drink, even if they’re verging on dehydration.
  • Wear light, loose-fitted clothing.
  • If you drink a lot of tea and coffee during the day, try to drink water instead.
  • Keep your living space cool by closing curtains and windows which receive the sun, and turn off non-essential electrical appliances.
  • Prescription medications can reduce your ability to tolerate the heat. Monitor yourself more closely and take extra care to stay cool.
  • Watch out for symptoms such as feeling faint or short of breath, and get help if you feel unwell. Contact your doctor or a pharmacist if you are worried, especially if you’re taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.
  • Keep a small drum of water in the refrigerator in the event that water pressure is significantly reduced or restricted. Fill up your kettle, pots and pans with water. If you notice a significant drop in water pressure, contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278.
  • As more information is released on falling water supplies from Irish Water, ALONE also encourages families and neighbours to check in with older people and ensure they have enough water to provide for the coming days.

 

For more tips, see the HSE websiteFor 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. If you have an issue with your water supply, contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278.

ALONE express concern for vulnerable older people ahead of heatwave

PRESS RELEASE

Charity asks communities to maintain contact with older living alone

Dublin, 25th June 2018  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is urging older people to take extra care as temperatures expect to approach 30 degrees this week.  They also ask members of the public to check in on their elderly neighbours.

Met Eireann have forecast hot weather conditions for the coming week, with overnight temperatures reaching low to mid teens. ALONE are encouraging older people to stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight for extended periods and wear lighter clothes made of natural fabrics.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Older people, and their families and neighbours, should be conscious that they are more at risk of dehydration.  Older people’s receptors for thirst are less keen, so they can go for extended periods without feeling the need to drink even if they’re verging on dehydration. What’s more, factors such as poor circulation, heart, lung or kidney problems can also heighten the dangers.”

He continued, “We ask that everyone remembers their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs, especially those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. A visit from a friend, family member, or neighbour to check on an older person’s food and water supplies and security, as well as to simply offer some company, can make a huge difference.”

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

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 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