Hospital Wait Times: What it means for the aging population

wait times, hospital wait times,

An Irish Independent article today released the latest HSE figures finding that wait times in A&E for nearly 6,000 people over 75 years of age is more than 24 hours.

During the first six months of 2017, there were record numbers of overcrowding in hospitals across the country. With nearly 52,000 people on trolleys in both the wards and A&E during that time, there is a clear disconnect between those in need and the resources available.

This lack of resources leads to hospital overcrowding, which will become an increasingly worrisome issue as the population continues to age. The latest census numbers from 2016 show that females over the age of 65 in Ireland is up 16.7 % from 2011 while that of the male population is up 20%. Those over 65 are almost three times more likely than average to be in an acute hospital bed and will spend an average of 8.7 days in hospitals, while those over 70 years old will spend an average of 10.87 days.

In addition to the increase in demand and continued overcrowding, older people are more likely to be affected by delayed discharge, which occurs when a patient is medically ready to leave the hospital, but due to the lack of necessary care, support or accommodation, they are unable to do so. In fact, 82% of all delayed discharges of older people are linked to lack of access to facilities and community support.

Studies show that 50% of older people waiting for, or sent to, nursing homes from hospital wished to remain at home and possibly could have done so, demonstrating the absolute need for there to be an increase in the Home Care budget to provide options for the older population across the country.

With increased funding towards the Fair Deal and Nursing Home Support Scheme, transitional care beds and home care, the number of people on trolleys has decreased by 24% compared to June 2015, further demonstrating the need for an increase in budget for home care options.

Corporate Volunteering: How your company can help

Lisney Ireland volunteering at Willie Bermingham Place in July 2017
Lisney Ireland volunteering at Willie Bermingham Place in July 2017

There are many ways to help ALONE. Giving a donation or volunteering to be a befriender  are all excellent ways to help. If you want a fun day out with your work crew, you could also consider a Corporate Volunteer Day with ALONE where you can work as a team to improve the homes – and the lives – of ALONE tenants.

ALONE Housing with Support is for people who are over 60 years of age. In the past 12 months, 87% of new ALONE tenants were homeless or at risk of homelessness before they came to us. During a Corporate Volunteer Day, you’ll be assisting to improve their homes and allow them to live independently for as long as possible.

We provide lifetime tenancies for all tenants so they never have to fear homelessness again. When a house needs maintenance or a little extra work, that’s where you can help.

We have many tasks available that you and your team can work on including: gardening work, painting, re-decorating, and more.

A Deloitte Ireland corporate volunteer helping out in the garden.
A Deloitte Ireland corporate volunteer helping out in the garden.

Equipment and materials for these activities can be expensive. We normally ask companies to fund a budget of €1,000 to cover everything needed during your volunteer day. However, if you do not have that budget available, please still get in touch so we can work together to find a suitable project with a lower budget.

Donating your time to volunteer with ALONE means you’ll get to learn a bit more about what we do and help create a true home for an older person in need.

If you have more questions or if your company is interested in organising a volunteer day with us, please send an e-mail to Mireya at fundrasing@alone.ie or call us on 01 679 1032.

ALONE welcomes change in fuel allowance method of payment

Dublin, 21st July 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home welcomes the announcement from Minister for Employment and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD, that changes will be made to the method of payment of the winter fuel allowance.

 

This new move will grant recipients two lump sums of €292.50 during the year, replacing the weekly payment system. ALONE welcome this development, as we continue to see older people in Ireland face a great struggle to adequately heat their homes.

 

A 2013 study showed that 10% of people in Ireland struggled to heat their homes. The same study highlighted that over the previous twelve months, the number of people older than 65 who were unable to keep their homes warm, almost doubled from 5.0% to 9.8%.

 

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan has said: “ALONE is pleased to hear this announcement from Minister Doherty and hope it can make a real difference in the lives of older people around the country. It is a harsh reality that anyone in Ireland might have to choose between paying to heat their home or pay for other essentials such as food, transport and clothing.”

 

Moynihan continued, “We believe this move to two lump sums will greatly assist older people in buying fuel and heating their home, something which had become an urgent issue for so many. We would also call on the Department to annually review the full Fuel Allowance payment to ensure that it is in line with fuel price increases.”

 

The Irish Institute of Public Health has found that pensioners are one of the highest risk groups for fuel poverty, something ALONE encounters frequently in its work.

 

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 older people nationwide. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For further information, please contact

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications 01 668 0600 or 085 233 6033

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications 01 668 0600

How ALONE is putting older people and technology in touch

bwellapp-techblog
Using the BWell App

Advancements in technology, charities and older people aren’t always things you think of in the same sentence, but ALONE is changing that.

Since January 2017, ALONE has worked in partnership with NetwellCASALA on a technology project that will enhance the lives of older people.

Through this partnership we have developed a technology platform that allows an older person to be more proactive in their health and well-being. The platform consists of a BSafe home sensor package, a BWell app, a BFriend app,  and ALONE’s Management Information System (MIS). The platform can be customised depending on the person’s desires and needs. The aim is to enable a community-based approach to ageing at home.

Here’s what the platform consists of:

The BSafe package is a set of individualised sensor kits for the home and wearable devices. They focus on mobility, physical activity and sleep. The data is then connected to the BWell app, so the older person can view it, and monitored through the MIS by the

  • That means if someone has a fall in the house, telecare would be alerted. Or if the person isn’t leaving the house as much as usual, we would be prompted to check in with them.

The BWell app focuses on all areas of social interaction in the older person’s life as well as their mental, emotional, and physical health.

  • The power is put into the hands of the older person to record their activities, review their data, manage their appointments and medications, and communicate with their support networks.

BFriend is an app available to ALONE staff and volunteers who work directly with older people. This app allows both groups to log their visit details, ensure quality of service with a history log, and keeps volunteers and staff safe through location sharing during visits.

  • It also allows staff and volunteers to report any concerns they may have about the older person, in real time.

ALONE’s MIS is our main data hub, which has been customised to meet the organisations needs and processes using the highest level of data security. It connects all of the apps to give us a comprehensive overview of an older person’s needs in real time.

  • Our MIS is high quality and low cost, and available for use by befriending organisations, community groups, and housing providers.
  • Five external organisations are currently piloting our MIS with plans to expand that to 75 organisations within 3 years.

netwell-casala

This brilliant advancement in technology and service at ALONE is the result of a THINKTECH grant received through Social Innovation Fund Ireland in association with the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government and Google.org.

Check out our video to learn more.

Volunteering with ALONE: The nitty-gritty details to getting involved

volunteering in Ireland, ALONE info session

We’ve all been there—wanting to volunteer but not really sure how. Where to begin and where to concentrate your efforts when there are so many places that could use volunteers in Ireland.

If you’re looking to provide companionship to an older person in your area, joining the Befriending service with ALONE is the place to start. We hold an Investing in Volunteers award and are the only place in Ireland to hold a Quality in Befriending award.

So, what’s involved when you volunteer with ALONE?

First, take a look at our website—see if you like what you see and if it’s something you’d be interesting in doing.

If it is, fill out a form to express your interest. You’ll be contacted and informed of our next volunteer information and recruitment session. This is a chance for you to get to know us and for us to have a short, one-to-one interview with you to gauge your interests and personality. Right now we’re looking at having the next information session in the autumn, so now is a great time to sign up

After that, successful applicants will be contacted to come in and do two hours of training where we go through details of how volunteering with us works.

We’ll then run a Garda vetting and check your provided references (of which we’ll need two).

All going well, we will then pair you up with an older person. Keep in mind that depending on the location you’re able to visit as well as the need in the community, the matching process may take a couple of months.

We ask that you commit to visiting the older person at least once a week for one year.

The two presenters were very good and opened up a discussion in a natural way. I feel ready to move onto the next stage and meet my befriended.

You’re truly part of the team when you decide to volunteer with ALONE—you have direct access to us and we provide support every step of the way. We’ll accompany you to your first visit and follow-up regularly to make sure you and the person you’ve been paired with are happy.

Daniel Egan is a brand new volunteer with ALONE who just joined the team. “The information session and training were both great, interactive sessions. It was nice to see a good balance of ages and sexes,” he says. “The two presenters were very good and opened up a discussion in a natural way. I feel ready to move onto the next stage and meet my befriended.”

The population of people over 65 in Ireland is 13.2%, representing 642,000 people. One in ten older people suffer with chronic loneliness, which can be as damaging to health as obesity and smoking.

ALONE is here to help the older population live their lives the way they want—you can be a part of changing an older person’s life and helping them age at home.

 

—ENDS

ALONE welcomes homecare consultation but stresses need for comprehensive services

6th July 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home welcomes the introduction of a public consultation process on a new statutory homecare scheme announced by Minister for Older People, Jim Daly, today. ALONE also stress that a more rounded home support system should be put in place for older people and carers.

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan has said: “We believe in the need to redress homecare but there is also a requirement to treat all parts of an older person’s life. Without a wrap-around of services, any new homecare scheme would fail.”

Moynihan continued, “ALONE is focused on the development of well-rounded supports for older people in Ireland. As the ageing population increases, we can expect further demands on supports. It is estimated that approximately 20% of those over 65 already receive a form of support service from the State. While we welcome this move by Minister Daly to establish a new affordable and sustainable homecare scheme, we urge that a comprehensive approach be taken. ALONE also calls on the Minister to disclose an outlined timeline for the consultation process and how he intends the process to operate.”

ALONE is keen to participate in the development of this new statutory homecare scheme and work with all stakeholders to make any new scheme a success and meet the needs of older people.

ALONE believes that only with this agenda, the participation of the wider community, and an increase in annual funding, can a significant homecare scheme be sustainable.

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 older people nationwide. 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, 0852336033

Dublin publicans’ charity initiative with ALONE hits €50k

 

Pic Maxwells/Julien Behal No Fee 9/03/17 Dublin publicans have launched a new charity initiative with ALONE to mark the bicentenary of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA).  The publicans have an ambition to raise €200,000 for ALONE’s ‘Befriending Services’. ALONE, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is a national organisation that supports older people to age at home by providing community engagement programmes and other services to address social isolation among the elderly. The charity depends on public support to carry out its work with 100% of all donations going directly to the services it provides. Pictured launching the initiative at The Two Sister’s Pub in Terenure are Noel Murphy (Kilmainham) centre Annette Egan (Ranelagh) on right taking the ‘selfie’ Anne McAuley (Terenure) and Tony McCarthy from Kilmainham.  Pic Maxwells/No Fee
Pic Maxwells/Julien Behal
No Fee 9/03/17
Dublin publicans have launched a new charity initiative with ALONE to mark the bicentenary of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA). The publicans have an ambition to raise €200,000 for ALONE’s ‘Befriending Services’. ALONE, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is a national organisation that supports older people to age at home by providing community engagement programmes and other services to address social isolation among the elderly. The charity depends on public support to carry out its work with 100% of all donations going directly to the services it provides. Pictured launching the initiative at The Two Sister’s Pub in Terenure are Noel Murphy (Kilmainham) centre
Annette Egan (Ranelagh) on right taking the ‘selfie’ Anne McAuley (Terenure) and Tony McCarthy from Kilmainham.
Pic Maxwells/No Fee

Ambition is to raise €200k to mark 200 years of the Licensed Vintners Association

Friday June 2 2017.  The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which represents Dublin publicans, has said it is delighted with the public response to its community initiative with ALONE.

The LVA has confirmed that in just a couple of months €50,000 has been raised for ALONE, the charity which supports older people by enabling them to age in their own homes.

To support the partnership, Guinness has brewed a limited edition beer, ‘Dublin Amber Pale Ale’. A joint donation of fifty cent for each pint of ‘Dublin Amber’ sold in participating pubs will be made to ALONE by Guinness and the publican to support the expansion of the charity’s services.

One of the aims of the partnership is to enhance the lives of older people by introducing them to volunteer ‘Befrienders’ who will provide them with much needed companionship. It’s hoped to raise €200,000 for the charity through the partnership which was put in place to mark the LVA’s bicentenary.

The CEO of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe said members were reporting a very positive response from the public in support of the initiative and to Dublin Amber. “Our members wanted to give something back to the community to mark the bicentenary and that really seems to have struck a chord with the public. Community is at the heart of the Dublin pub and that is why we chose to partner with ALONE on this initiative.”

“To date we have collectively raised €50,000 for ALONE and we would like to wholeheartedly thank the public for supporting this initiative. Given that Dublin Amber has only been available for a couple of months, we are delighted with the funds raised so far and will be relying on the public to help us reach our ambitious target of €200,000 by the autumn.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said the charity was thrilled with the progress. “It’s really great to see that this initiative has gained such traction with Dublin’s publicans and their customers. We would like to thank them for their ongoing support. ALONE depends on public support with 100% of all donations going directly to providing services to older people in need. The funds raised will help us to reach out to the 1 in 10 older people who experience chronic loneliness.”

As it happens ALONE, is also marking a significant birthday this year – its 40th. Founded in 1977, ALONE is a national organisation which supports older people living in their homes by providing community engagement programmes and other services to address social isolation among the elderly.

‘Dublin Amber’ is available on draught in hundreds of pubs across Dublin for a limited time.

Ends

 

 

 

“A lot has changed since 1977 but ALONE still needed today more than ever”

Charity celebrates 40th Anniversary at event in Dublin City Hall

Repro Free: Dublin, 24th May 2017. ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, celebrated its 40th anniversary at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr in City Hall, Dublin, on Tuesday evening. Picture Jason Clarke
Repro Free: Dublin, 24th May 2017. ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, celebrated its 40th anniversary at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr in City Hall, Dublin, on Tuesday evening. Picture Jason Clarke

Dublin, 24th May 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, celebrated its 40th anniversary at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr in City Hall, Dublin, last night.

Speaking at the event Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said: “A lot has changed since 1977, but ALONE is still needed today more than ever. Tonight is a celebration of ALONE and the people involved in the charity’s journey so far who have never forgotten its ethos – to support the isolated older people in our society.”

 

Moynihan continued: “As an organisation that works with older people, we see firsthand the issues they face, whether it is loneliness, a lack of homecare support, or housing. Many older people think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people, we want them to know that they deserve more than a little help and we are here to support them.”

 

Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr, speaking at the event, commented: “Dublin Fireman Willie Bermingham founded ALONE in 1977 as a response to the desperate issues faced by older people in the city. Today, ALONE continues to act as a lifeline to older people throughout Ireland who find themselves isolated and alone. I am delighted to be hosting this event tonight in celebration of such a significant charity.”

 

Journalist Valerie Cox acted as MC for the evening and interviewed the ‘Stars of ALONE’ which included; older people who use ALONE’s services and volunteers of the charity.

 

Leo Kelly – older person who avails of ALONE’s services

Leo Kelly has been linked in with ALONE’s befriending services for more than 5 years. In 2005, Leo retired and soon found himself becoming socially isolated. Since being visited by ALONE volunteer Eamonn, Leo has managed to regain confidence. He socialises more often, has discontinued the Meals on Wheels service he previously availed off, and has given up smoking. ALONE’s befriending service has been a “lifeline” for Leo.

 

Ann McAuley – older person who avails of ALONE’s services

Ann had been happily married 56 years when she lost her husband in 2009. Although Ann has a close relationship with her children, her two daughters live abroad and her son lives a few hours drive away. A handyman who often visited to fix up her home approached Ann one day and told her about ALONE’s Befriending Service. The next day she called ALONE: To this day I still tell people it’s the best phone call I’ve ever made.” Ann was matched with Collette through the befriending service, and the pair get on like a house on fire.

 

Sister Mary Dempsey – ALONE Befriending Volunteer

Sister Mary Dempsey is a 90 year old nun who has been volunteering with ALONE for nearly 40 years. The first man she began visiting was reluctant to let her in: “He’d come to the door and say “you’ve seen me, you’ve done what they asked you to do and goodbye!” Sr. Mary persevered and was eventually let in to the house – she continued visiting him for 22 years. Since then, Sr. Mary has befriended numerous older people and continues to volunteer today.

 

Jeremy Chapman – ALONE Befriending Volunteer & Board Member

Jeremy is a 52 year old mature student studying Social Work in Trinity College Dublin. Jeremy joined ALONE 12 years ago as a befriending volunteer when he was a stay at home Dad to his two children, now grown up. Jeremy feels very strongly that many older people are being forced into nursing homes often before it’s really necessary, due to a lack of adequate home supports. Jeremy now sits on the board of ALONE and continues to visit a number of older people in the Dublin area, including the first lady he befriended.

 

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. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work visit www.alone.ie

Two Sisters Pub raise €1000 for ALONE through Good Friday Market

twosisterschequepresentation2

Dublin, 10th May 2017 The Two Sisters Pub, in Terenure, raised €1000 for ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, through a Spring Market which was held in the pub on Good Friday. The Spring Market consisted of a variety of stalls by local craftspeople and artisan producers. Proceeds from all teas and coffees sold on the day went directly to ALONE.

Commenting on the donation, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “I would like to thank Deirdre in the Two Sisters for this fantastic donation to ALONE. The Two Sisters has been very supportive to ALONE through this fundraising event and through their promotion of the Dublin Amber Pale Ale, in which fifty cent from each pint goes to ALONE.”

Deirdre Devitt, of the Two Sisters Pub, commented, “We are delighted to be able to support the important work that ALONE does in helping older people to stay in their homes and remain active in the local community.”

The Two Sisters Pub, as a member of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), is currently offering a limited edition beer, ‘Dublin Amber Pale Ale’, brewed by Guinness. A joint donation of fifty cent for each pint of ‘Dublin Amber’ sold in participating pubs will be made to ALONE by Guinness and the publican to support the expansion of ALONE’s Befriending Service. The LVA launched this charity initiative as part of its bicentenary this year and hopes to raise €200,000 for ALONE.

Minister McEntee launches new ALONE partnership with Dundalk Institute of Technology

"This is all about collaboration", Minister Helen McEntee (pictured here with ALONE team).
“This is all about collaboration”, Minister Helen McEntee (pictured here with ALONE team).

Minister for Older People, Helen McEntee TD, today announced a new strategic partnership between ALONE, and Netwell CASALA, the research centre for ageing at Duncdalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). The partnership will see the expansion of existing social care and community support services for older people in the North East.

Speaking at the launch in the DkIT campus today. Minister McEntee, said “this important new partnership will see ALONE coordinate and grow existing social care programmes developed by Netwell CASALA, in collaboration with the HSE and Louth County Council. This is very good news for older people in the North East. These programmes include Support Coordination, Befriending, social clubs, events and outings along with the Good Morning Louth befriending telephone service, Dundalk Men’s Shed, the cinema club and seagull club.”

Minister McEntee highlighted the importance of developing a full range of services and supports to allow older people to age well at home and to remain connected to their community, “Support services in the community are vitally important to empower and help older people to age well at home. I would like to congratulate the team here at DkIT, along with those involved from the HSE and Louth County Council, for their remarkable work in developing this comprehensive social and care support programme in the North East. This new partnership with ALONE will enhance the supports and services offered to older people in the community and ensure that more older people in the area have access to these services.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We are delighted to be expanding our services to older people in the North East in our 40th anniversary year. ALONE hopes to bring greater sustainability and resources to the existing services for older people in the North East in line with our national strategy for supporting older people to age at home.”

Ann Campbell, President of DkIT, added, “Research into ageing is a one of our key programmes at DkIT so I am delighted that this project, which started in DkIT, has flourished to offer vital supports to so many older people in our community. I’m even more delighted that ALONE can now expand on these services and continue to support older people in the North East well into the future.”

Rodd Bond, Head of Netwell Casala, commented, “As an active participant in the partnership, Netwell CASALA will continue to be involved in these social programmes but with greater emphasis on researching and testing assistive technology to support the health and wellbeing of older people. We started this social support programme through the Great Northern Haven assisted living project ten years ago and quickly realised that whilst technology is set to play a big part in our ability to age well at home, it is the social interactions and support from the community which older people and their families need in order to really age in the best way possible. It is fantastic that ALONE, who have such expertise in the area of supporting older people to age at home, is taking our services and growing them to support more and more older people throughout the North East.”

Since 2007, over 1,500 individual older people in North Louth have been supported Netwell CASALA services with a further 300 older people receiving a weekly phone call from the Good Morning Louth phone service.

Support services for older people include: befriending visits, Good Morning Louth befriending telephone service, social support services, housing services and social clubs, events and outings. Referrals can be made with the permission of the older person by a family member, friend, neighbour, HSE or Gardaí.

If you would like any further details on the support services offered to older people in the North East, please go to www.alone.ie or phone Pat Kerins on 042 93 70361. For further information on the Netwell CASALA research programmes please go to www.netwellcasala.org.