How will you pay rent when you retire? Vincent Browne launches ALONE housing campaign

PRESS RELEASE

Dublin, 27th March 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the hidden housing crisis among older people. The organisation is calling on the Government to provide funding towards developing a new, age-friendly model of housing and to update Rebuilding Ireland to reflect the needs of an ageing Ireland.

At the launch of the campaign, former broadcaster and journalist Vincent Browne urged the government to prioritise housing for older people, “I am here today to support ALONE as they work to prevent the housing crisis faced by older people from becoming a homelessness crisis. With the number of over 65s set to increase dramatically in the next couple of decades, the situation for older people trying to secure rented and lifetime accommodation is set to get worse!”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “As people age, they can often no longer afford to rent. Rents are currently exceeding their former peak in 2008.  The contributory state pension is €1,032.63 per month, but average market rent in Ireland is €1,227[1]. At the moment, an older person relying on their contributory pension can’t afford to rent a home. There is an assumption within the pensions system that older people do not need to rent or do not have accommodation costs, yet in 2016, there were 15,883 people over 60 in the private rental sector.”

ALONE’s campaign also highlights the falling rates of home ownership in Ireland which will impact the housing crisis further as the population ages. In 2016 there were 876,423 people aged over 60 living in Ireland. By 2031 it is estimated that this will grow to 1.42 million. ALONE believes that the problems older people face in obtaining rented and lifetime accommodation will only get worse unless action is taken.

Moynihan continued, “The housing crisis will only get worse as our population ages. The current generation can’t buy homes, but if nothing changes, huge numbers won’t be able to afford to rent as they age either. The private rental market is not suitable long-term for older people. Rented properties offer little security of tenancy and, in the current competitive rental market, we have heard from older people who are afraid to tell their landlord about issues with their accommodation in case their rent is increased. For most people when they retire, they lose 60% of their income.The thousands of older people who retire every year in private rented accommodation face a very uncertain future.”

ALONE works every day with older people who are losing their homes in the private rented sector, whose homes are unsuitable for them to live in, or who are homelesss. “We have begun to find occasions where we can’t provide a solution to some of the housing problems older people face, because appropriate rental accommodation and social housing is not available. From late 2015 to early 2018 the number of housing applications received by ALONE more than doubled. ALONE receive 20 applications for every house available, and there are 174 people currently on our waiting list. In terms of housing, our resources are stretched to maximum capacity,” said Moynihan.

Moynihan concluded, “We are calling on the Government to engage with ALONE and its partners in the Age Alliance to meet the commitments outlined in the National Positive Ageing Strategy since 2013, and to update Rebuilding Ireland to reflect the needs of an ageing Ireland. If nothing changes, the housing crisis is only going to get worse for older people. We need to act now to prevent a homelessness crisis among the over-60s, now and in the years to come.”

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:

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

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 358 7153

[1] https://www.daft.ie/report/2017-Q4-rental-price-daft-report.pdf

Befriending Network Ireland 2018 training dates

We’re delighted to announce the dates for our Befriending Network Ireland training sessions for 2018.

New: Service Set-up Basics Training

Befriending Network Ireland is delighted to introduce this new form of training for those who are in the process of setting-up a befriending network. In this training you’ll go through the core areas involved in setting up a service, including identifying a target group, geographic area coverage, naming your service, logo & branding, staffing structure, policies, sustainability, IT set-up, insurance and Garda vetting. It involves a full day of training in Dublin and the cost of the training is €30 per attendee. The training dates for this year are as follows:

Date and time: 30 March 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 15 June 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 24 August 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 26 October 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Venue: ALONE Office, Olympic House, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

 

Befriending Coordination Training

Befriending Coordination Training covers all aspects of coordinating a befriending service. This training is ideal for services starting up, as well as services that are up and running and would like a refresher or advice on certain aspects of running their service. Topics covered include befriender recruitment, boundaries, referrals, assessments, matching, supporting befriendees and befrienders, risk management and data management. It involves a full day of training in Dublin and the cost of the training is €30 per attendee. The training dates for this year are as follows:

Date and time: 6 April 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 29 June 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 14 September 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 16 November 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Venue: ALONE Office, Olympic House, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

 

Support and Case Management Training

This training is designed for services who are interested in setting up a service to address other needs that there service users may have outside of befriending or another core service that is already provided. The training is modelled on the Support Coordination service that ALONE provides to older people and covers areas such as brief interventions, comprehensive interventions, case management and advocacy. It involves a full day of training in Dublin and the cost is €30 per attendee. The training dates for this year are as follows:

Date and time: 27 April 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 22 June 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Date and time: 30 November 2018, 10.30am to 4.30pm

Venue: ALONE Office, Olympic House, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

 If you are interested in attending any of these training sessions please email caroline.muller@alone.ie or call ALONE on 01-6791032.

VHI Mini Marathon in aid of ALONE

Registration for the VHI Mini Marathon is now open!

We are looking for people to take part in the VHI Mini Marathon in aid of ALONE.

This year the marathon takes place on Sunday, 3rd of June at 2pm. The 10km walk/run will start at Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 and finish on Pembroke road.

To take part in the event, register at https://www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie/ and email Fundraising@alone.ie to let us know your registered. That way we can send you out your sponsor cards and T-shirts!

Check out our video below, where Amy explains how she got involved in the VHI Mini Marathon, why she choose ALONE and how she sponsors.

 

Day 2 of Storm Emma: Advice for older people in ongoing cold weather

A red weather warning remains in place for Leinster, Munster and Galway. This means you should not travel or go out on the roads.

Make sure to keep yourself safe if you are helping others. If you have an emergency, contact 999. For any other concerns, you can contact ALONE from 9am-9pm on 01 679 1032.

If you or an older person you know need to stay safe:

  • Stay inside until the bad weather passes.
  • Keep windows locked and pets inside.
  • Stay warm and keep the heating on as much as necessary. Electricity suppliers are confirming that pay as you go customers will not be cut off if they don’t top up.
  • Keep in touch with family members, friends and neighbours.
  • Keep in contact through radio, TV and the internet for updates.
  • Be prepared for power outages over the coming days as the bad weather continues.
  • Charge your mobile phone or any other devices you may need in case you lose power.
  • If you do not already have torches or matches, try to make do with what you have. Do not go out to get supplies.
  • Keep important supplies, like torches, in easy-to-reach places.

If you’ve lost power/heating:

  • Don’t panic. ESB will be aware of the outages in your area and will be in touch.
  • Consider whether you’re at risk. You may have enough heating/blankets etc to get by until the worst of the weather has passed.
  • Stick to using torches if possible. Burn candles responsibly and do not leave them unattended.
  • Call service providers, plumbers, or any other assistance you might need, or ask someone you know to call for you. Get advice on a temporary solution over the phone if immediate assistance isn’t possible.
  • If there is an imminent risk, call emergency services. For power emergencies call 1850 372 999.

If you have concerns about food:

  • Consider whether you’re at risk. You may have enough supplies to get by until the worst weather has passed.
  • Remember that the situation will pass.
  • Contact family, friends or neighbours close by that can help.
  • Check if there are local supports, such as shops, that are open. Someone nearby may be able to get or organise supplies to be brought to you.

If you’ve run out of essential medication:

  • Consider whether you’re at risk. You may have enough medication to get by.
  • Remember that the situation will pass.
  • Check if there are local supports such as a doctor or a pharmacist. Get advice on a temporary solution over the phone if immediate assistance isn’t available.
  • If you need essential medication urgently, or are in danger, call emergency services – 999.

Advice for older people in cold weather

Ahead of Storm Emma and the bad weather forecast for this week, we have compiled a list of tips for older people on how to prepare and cope. Please share this advice with anyone who may be in need of it. For older people, cold weather can be more than just an inconvenience.

Advice for older people in cold weather

Staying well and warm:

  • Eat hot meals regularly and drink plenty of fluids. This will keep you warm.
  • Have enough fuel supplies to keep your house warm. Spending your money on heating is a priority for you: keep your heating on all day.
  • Keep as active as possible. If you can, do some light exercise indoors.
  • Make sure you have enough of any medication you need for a week. If you need medication, call your pharmacist.
  • Check you have enough food, water and fuel.
  • Ask family, friends and neighbours for help if you need it.
  • Make sure you have enough credit on your mobile phone.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: alcoholic drinks can make you lose body heat.
  • Make sure your heating system is working (that is, central heating, gas, electricity).
  • To save on heating bills, close off rooms you are not using.
  • Make sure your house isn’t losing heat through windows. Keep your blinds and curtains closed.

Staying safe:

  • Avoid all unnecessary travel.
  • Write down important contact numbers and keep them beside your phone. Don’t forget emergency numbers: 999 or 112.
  • Emergency SMS number: 112. If you are hard of hearing, deaf or have speech difficulties, in an emergency send a text to 112. They will contact the Gardaí for you.

Clothing:

  • Wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to leave the house. Take these off as soon as you get inside so that you don’t trip.
  • Dress warmly even if you are staying in the house. Throw a blanket over your legs. Wear socks and slippers.
  • When you go to bed, use extra blankets.
  • Avoid being out in the wind; a wind can quickly lower your body temperature.
  • Wear loose layers of clothing. The air between the layers can help to keep you warm.
  • Wear a hat and scarf.
  • Change your clothes if they get damp or wet.

Advice for friends or relatives of older people in cold weather

  • Call up your older friend daily to ensure they are feeling okay. If possible, check in on them before bad weather hits.
  • Ask whether they need assistance with getting food, fuel, or water supplies.

General information:

  • For information on public transport, check www.dublinbus.ie (01 8734222), www.irishrail.ie (01 8366222), www.luas.ie (01 4614911) and www.buseireann.ie (1850 836 611).
  • For information on power outages, check www.esbpowercheck.ie. Phone 1850 372 999 to report outages.
  • For information about road conditions, check the three websites of Transport Infrastructure Ireland at www.tii.ie, www.tiitraffic.ie and www.winterready.ie.
  • For further tips and details about how you can prepare for the cold weather, check www.winterready.ie
  • Keep up to date with www.alone.ie. Call ALONE at 01 6791032 if you’re in need of assistance.

JCDecaux announces partnership with ALONE

We are thrilled to announce that we are part of a €2 million partnership deal with JCDecaux which will see the outdoor advertising media owner supporting our work with older people for the next two years.

The partnership will help our work jc-decaux-picin raising awareness and driving fundraising to support older people to age at home.

 Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive of ALONE said, “Working with JCDecaux, we have a very effective platform to highlight policy issues and raise awareness on the issues facing older people.  We are able to reach older people and encourage them to contact us for support, as well as attract volunteers and support from across the country.”

The two year partnership which commenced this January, will see JC Decaux working with ALONE as well as two other partner charities, Barnados and Fighting Blindness.

Tony O’Flanagan, Marketing Director of JCDecaux said, “We are very pleased to be in a position to partner with these three exceptionally worthy charities in 2018/2019.  We are looking forward to using our formats to increase awareness on a national basis of the key issues facing each charity.”

 

ALONE: “The solution to loneliness lies in community supports and services”

ALONE responds to appointment of Minister for Loneliness in Britain.

Dublin, 19th January 2018  Following Britain’s appointment of a ‘Minister for Loneliness’ this week, ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has said that the solution to loneliness lies in scalable and collaborative community supports and services.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “As an organisation that works with older people, we see firsthand the effects of loneliness. 1 in 10 older people suffer from chronic loneliness[1] and I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. As we enter the winter, calls for support dramatically increase and loneliness is one of the main issues that older people in Ireland are facing today.”

He continued, “While we welcome a renewed focus on how to address loneliness and social isolation, we believe the answer lies in continued collaboration between the community and voluntary sector and statutory bodies to address this important issue and not necessarily the creation of a new ministerial position. By working closely together, we can provide services that help people who are experiencing loneliness.”

ALONE’s Befriending Service provides companionship to older people who are socially isolated or experiencing through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. In 2016, 4,500 people were supported by befriending services nationwide, an increase of 42%. The charity aims to grow the Befriending service from 600 to 10,000 volunteers in next 5 years.

ALONE also provides Supportive Coordination services to older people and was recently awarded the overall HSE Excellence Award for its innovative Support Coordination hub development for older people in Dublin North city and county.

The ‘Innovative Support Coordination for Older Persons’ is a joint project between ALONE and the HSE which aims to keep older people living well at home for as long as possible. By co-ordinating and organising services for older people who might need some extra support to continue living at home or some practical help to return home from hospital, the two organisations have, to date, supported over 700 older people in Dublin North city and county.  The plan is to develop and grow this service nationwide, and by 2022, the service will support 20,000 older people directly and 14,000 indirectly.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

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

 

For more information contact:

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

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 358 7153

[1]AGE  UK, Promising approaches to reducing loneliness and isolation in later life, http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/For-professionals/Policy/Promising_approaches-loneliness_and_isolation.pdf?dtrk=true

ALONE wins HSE Excellence Award For Innovative Support Coordination for Older Persons

hse-excellence-award

 

Dublin, 20th December 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has been awarded the overall HSE Excellence Award for its innovative Support Coordination hub development for older people in Dublin North city and county. The award was presented to ALONE at a ceremony in Farmleigh, Dublin, on Thursday evening.

 

As Ireland’s aging demographic increases and one third of older people now live alone, ALONE says that new community supports and services are required to support older people throughout the day. ALONE’s ‘Innovative Support Coordination for Older Persons’ is a joint project between ALONE and the HSE which aims to keep older people living well at home for as long as possible. It addresses issues faced by older people living in their own homes and works with statutory bodies, community organisation and other service providers to ensure that the older people get the supports they need.

 

The Support Coordination hub model provides scalable, transferable and effective services that can be purchased, replicated, or shared. By co-ordinating and organising services for older people who might need some extra support to continue living at home or some practical help to return home from hospital, the two organisations have, to date, supported over 700 older people in Dublin North city and county.

 

Speaking at the HSE Excellence Awards, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We are delighted to have won the overall HSE Excellence Award. This award recognises the high quality of our Support Coordination services and the level of care and support we offer to older people. Our plan is to continue developing this service, using the latest technology, and support 20,000 older people directly and 14,000 indirectly annually by 2022.”

 

“The Support Co-ordination Project in Dublin North City and County with Alone, the HSE and our colleagues in CHO 9 has supported more than 700 vulnerable older people where they needed assistance.  We know that the preferred wish of older people is to remain in their own homes for as long as possible with support as needed. Our aim is to grow and develop this service and bring it nationwide by the end of 2019”, says Samantha Rayner, HSE Older Person Specialist, National Social Care.

Sean Moynihan concluded, “We want to thank the HSE for recognising the work we are doing, and to all of the volunteers and everyone who has made this project a success.  It’s because of your hard work that we are able to reach so many older people, and it’s because of the quality of your work that we are being recognised and validated in such a prestigious way.”

 

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

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editor:

Watch ALONE’swinning entry here: http://www.hse.ie/eng/about/our-health-service/excellence-awards/nominees/innovative-support-coordination-for-older-persons/innovative-support-coordination-for-older-persons.html

 

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of 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.

 

Photo Caption

Pictured at the HSE Excellence Awards are (L-R) Tony O’Brien, Director General HSE, Samantha Rayner, HSE Older Person Specialist, National Social Care, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE,  Suzanne Kenny,  HSE Older Persons Manager, National Social Care, Mary Walshe, Chief Officer, HSE – Dublin North City and County and Brian Lambe, Services Manager, ALONE.

For more information contact:

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 3587153

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

NEWS RELEASE: Do One Thing This Christmas…

 

ALONE urges the public to reach out to older people spending Christmas alone

 

Dublin, 15th December 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is asking members of the public to ‘Do One Thing’ this Christmas. The charity is asking people to support older people living alone by offering friendship or support, by becoming a Befriending volunteer or by donating to ALONE. The charity is also urging older people experiencing isolation and loneliness to get in touch with them to avail of their support services.

 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “1 in 12 people aged over 65 living alone never, or seldom, see family and friends. This represents 55,000 people. During Christmas and the winter period, we find that calls for support dramatically increase and loneliness is one of the main issues experienced by older people. Christmas can be a particularly isolating time for those who have no loved ones to share it with. We can all be guilty of getting caught up in the build up to Christmas as we reunite with friends and family, but it is important to remember that many older people have no friends or family to reunite with.”

 

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

 

Seán Moynihan continued, “We want older people in need of support or assistance to pick up the phone and get in touch with ALONE. We are also calling on families to talk to the older people in their lives about their needs. If families need support, they can contact ALONE. Alternatively, anyone looking to volunteer with ALONE sign up as a Befriender.”

 

He concluded, ““ALONE and the older people we support need help all year-round, so the donations at Christmas help us to continue supporting older people to age at home. This Christmas we are asking the public to connect with older people, provide them with the supports they need, and build a sense of community. We want to thank everyone one who has, and continues to, support us.”

 

At Christmas, ALONE’s activities include Christmas dinner dances for older people and volunteers, the delivery of hundreds of Christmas hampers to older people, and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for a number of older people. ALONE’s services mean so much to the people who avail of them, as one older person commented; “ALONE and my volunteer have made such a difference in my life. I am not alone at Christmas, my birthday or throughout the year. I have people to celebrate with me. I feel like I’m part of the community.”

 

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

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE 

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of 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:

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 3587153

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

 

Warm the heart of an older neighbour

 

 

poster asking people to check in on an older person during cold weather

PRESS RELEASE

 

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

 

Dublin, 1st December 2017  The Lord Mayor of Dublin Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade, is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

 

Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha said, “The winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable, alone and isolated. It can be a very frightening experience to be without shelter, warmth, food or essential items such as medication. We are appealing to all Dubliners to look out for the older people in your community who may live alone, have no family or may be at risk of suffering from fuel poverty, illness or loneliness. This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together.”

 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Cold temperatures can have a serious affect on many older people, in particular those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. 5% of Irish people aged over 65 who lived alone were unable to keep their homes adequately warm in 2012. This figure jumped to 9.8% in 2013.[1] Given that 50% of Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) experienced in Ireland can be linked to poor thermal efficiency in the dwellings[2], ALONE is urging older people to take extra care and encouraging those who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed.”

 

ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritize their spending on heating during the winter months. For those who are struggling to keep up with utilities bills, you can contact your utilities company to set up a payment plan. ALONE has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, or medication. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on 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.

 

The campaign is part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to an Age Friendly City.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of 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:

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

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600

 

[1] Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative, Preliminary Report, March 2015, https://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/afu/DOH_Positive_ageing_report.pdf

[2]  (DCENR): A Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty: 2016-2019,p. 27