ALONE expand supports for older people to Donegal

Daniel O’Donnell joined the charity as they launched their Donegal services

Donegal, 8th July 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, was joined by Donegal native, Daniel O’Donnell, as they launched support services for older people in the region today. ALONE has merged with existing service provider Good Morning Donegal.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said at the launch, “We are delighted to be expanding our services to older people in Donegal with the help of our fantastic staff and to bring the Good Morning Donegal team on board. We look forward to seeing this develop throughout Donegal, building on the great work and community spirit already in place locally.”

Loneliness and social isolation in particular can have a major impact on a person’s life and wellbeing, but with the help of ALONE, more individuals can reach out and receive the help they need.

Donegal native Daniel O’Donnell said, “My mother availed of the good morning service in her final years. She always enjoyed those calls from their representatives. Even though there was a lot of us around, those calls kept her in touch with the community in a special way. I hope this service will get the support it needs to continue. It is a wonderful service this organisation provides.”

Working at the frontline of community supports, ALONE reports a universal story of needs and access for older people across urban and rural settings.

Moynihan continued, “There are more than 15,800 people over 65 living in Donegal. More than 6,500 of those live alone. As a country, we are facing an ageing demographic and ALONE, and other agencies, are providing essential supports. We need to ensure that there is consistency of services across both urban and rural areas. Many more older people will be experiencing issues such as loneliness, transport difficulties and housing challenges in the coming years and we hope that expanding our ground-level supports will help to make a positive impact on the lives in Donegal and throughout the country.”

As demand for ALONE services increases, ALONE is looking for volunteers throughout the county to help to provide their Befriending & Support service for older people.

“Our volunteers help to support older people by offering a visit or a telephone call, having a chat and providing access to support. Often, they go on to make a friend for life,” continued Moynihan. “We provide training to volunteers before they are matched with an older person and we’re always on hand to support both the older person and the volunteer. We are asking anyone who may be interested to extend a helping hand and help us to support and empower more older people to live happily and securely at home.”

ALONE is also encouraging older people who may need support to get in touch.

“We can offer support with problems large and small. Many older people may feel like they are putting someone out by asking for help, but we want them to know that help is what we’re here for – all they need to do is lift the phone.”

Founded in Dublin in 1977, ALONE is now a merger of four organisations offering support to older people to age at home throughout Ireland. ALONE helps those facing loneliness, social isolation, poverty, housing difficulties, homelessness and health difficulties, by providing Befriending & Support, Support Coordination, Housing, and BConnect assistive technology.

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit alone.ie or call (074) 932 1598

 

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ALONE announce 50 housing units in Jamestown Court, Inchicore

The units were acquired following a stock transfer from Dublin City Council

Dublin, 3rd July 2019  ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, has acquired Jamestown Court in Inchicore from Dublin City Council. ALONE will provide homes for older people and undertake a phased redevelopment of the site.

ALONE will lead a redevelopment and refurbishment project of the current site, parts of which are currently steeled up, to create age-friendly one-bedroom homes for older people on the housing waiting list. This project will encompass refurbishment of the existing three blocks and the building of a fourth block.

Construction work on Block A began in June and is estimated to take 12 months to complete.

The full redevelopment project will be completed by 2022.

The acquirement of Jamestown Court 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).

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe, said of the development, “Today highlights the important partnership of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing and approved housing organisations, such as ALONE, which come together to provide needed accommodation with specific supports required by our older population.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We are excited to be moving forward with the Jamestown Court project and are grateful for the assistance of Dublin City Council, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to make this housing solution a reality. Looking ahead to 2022, there will be 50 age-specific homes available to provide secure and supported housing for older people. This is an important step in the right direction for older people’s housing.”

Tenants will be provided with support from ALONE’s housing officers and support workers and will also be offered the organisation’s pioneering BConnect assistive technology to support them to age at home.

Moynihan continued, “There is huge demand for housing for older people and developments such as Jamestown Court are urgently required. It is vital that supports are offered as part of housing provision for older people. The modification of units and the decision to create specific age-friendly homes is also essential when looking to cater to Ireland’s ageing population. There are more than 200 older people with housing difficulties on our waiting list. ”

Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with ALONE and facilitate the redevelopment of Jamestown Court to provide homes equipped to support older people on our housing waiting list. This collaborative approach from DCC and organisations such as ALONE are imperative for the continued delivery of homes for those facing housing need.”

 

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ALONE calls for demand-led funding for Home Care scheme

The charity which supports older people urging Government to hold home care as ‘key priority’

Dublin, 13th June 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, is calling for increased funding and improvements in the provision of Home Care services across Ireland. The charity is advocating for funding for this vital service to be linked to demand to ensure that any older person in need of home care can access the support they need.

ALONE believe that the current state of home care provision is contributing to increased vulnerability and challenges for older people, their families and home care workers. The charity is asking for a funding review ahead of Budget 2020 in order to best support older people as they age, as well as the overstretched staff who deliver these supports.

ALONE is concerned that much of the demand for home help is invisible on paper as some regions without the resources required do not keep waiting lists, and their need goes unrecognised. In many cases throughout Ireland, older people must already be in acute hospital in order to receive home care. As well as this, staff delivering home care are under significant time pressure and underpaid.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “The CHO waiting lists for the end of September 2018 indicated that 6,423 people were waiting for home support funding, and it is likely that many more people were not recorded. We are urging Government to take levels of demand into consideration in Budget 2020. While it is not news to us that new packages are not being made available at the moment, the Government, along with the public, must understand that these issues are hugely affecting older people on an individual level. Currently even those people who are receiving home care are experiencing gaps in service provision as currently the service only covers personal and medical care,” said Moynihan.

“Reports from our staff and volunteers indicate that the provision of additional home care packages can support quicker discharge from hospital and reduce the pressure on A&E departments. Recently we worked with a woman who remained in hospital for three weeks longer than necessary because of the difficulty of getting home care in place.”

Moynihan also emphasised the need for Government to consider the ways home care provision is of benefit to the health system. “This vital service is strategically important to enable people to live at home, and without sufficient funding for it, the aims of Sláintecare will not be achieved,” he said.

“In our work with other agencies and Government departments, we have been told that the funding for home care isn’t there due to a lack of evidence supporting the cost benefit of home care. The benefit of home care to the health system is not to save money in hospitals, but to ease the pressure on overstretched A&E departments by enabling speedier discharge and keeping people well at home for longer. Without funding for community care, we will increase dependency on hospitals and nursing homes, where staff and resources are already under huge pressure.”

He concluded, “We were concerned by reports made last week suggesting a reduction in home care packages made available to older people in need. Under Sláintecare, a statutory home care scheme is due to be introduced by 2021. While we are hopeful that the statutory scheme will resolve some of the issues with home care provision, we are still several years away from its implementation and we need to work to improve services for people who are in need of home care today – not in two years’ time. We urgently need to improve our system to ensure that those who need home care support receive the hours they require, not just the hours that there is budget for.”

Home support hours are a lifeline for older people to age independently at home. In 2018, ALONE in partnership with other organisations in the Home Care Coalition, called for an additional €100m in funding for the home care scheme in order to address the lack of available home care packages.

 

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Funding one of the biggest challenges for community organisations according to Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) seminar

ALONE hosts BNI ‘Developing a Sustainable Community Sector’ seminar

 

Dublin, 30th May 2019 ALONE, which supports older people to age at home, held the annual Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) seminar in the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin earlier today. Exploring the theme of ‘Developing a Sustainable Community Sector’, the seminar was attended by more than 20 organisations from across the country.

Speakers at the event discussed topics such as loneliness, meeting the needs of Ireland’s ageing demographic, providing support to service users, funding and sustainability, and the future of the age sector.

Speaking at the seminar, ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan highlighted the need for further support for organisations working within communities. He also highlighted the need to build the capacity of the sector to meet the needs of our ageing demographic.

Moynihan commented, “Policies aren’t matching up with our practices in supporting older people in Ireland. We have seen great work such as the National Positive Ageing Strategy and research from TILDA and HaPAI which have highlighted the needs of older people and where improvements need to be made. Community organisations like ALONE and the members of Befriending Network Ireland are stepping up to help to fill in the gaps where statutory organisations can struggle.”

He continued, “Our sector needs to work together and overcome challenges like up-skilling and training to ensure we can meet levels of demand going forward. For years the community has seen cuts, but now more than ever we need to support and encourage community organisations. We see that our population is ageing and that already we cannot meet all of their needs in areas such as support, housing, home care, health care and social integration. If we don’t invest in our communities now, when will we?”

BNI members have cited the need for funding as a major issue that impacts their services.

“The rural environment of the communities we work in creates one of the most significant challenges for us,” says Salena Grace of Befriending Laois. “Adequate funding and resources would enable us to put more people on the ground in the community, and provide more support for clients. We provide an immeasurable service to the people who reach out to us for help. It’s a lifeline.”

Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) is a national support network for befriending and support services across Ireland led by ALONE. BNI provides resources and training to new and well established services. Established by a number of organisations across Ireland in 2015, Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) has grown to a national network of more than 60 organisations.

In addition to ALONE representatives, speakers and panellists included Sarah Van Putten, CEO of Befriending Networks; Pádraig Vallely, Business Development Manager of Social Innovation Fund Ireland; Niall O’Sullivan, Fund  Development Advisor at Community Foundation for Ireland; Paddy McGinn, Beneficiary Operations Manager of Pobal; Jenny O’Reilly of Wicklow Dementia Support; and Colette O’Regan of LGBT Ireland.

 

 

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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 and the Irish Gerontological Society lead discussion on ageing in Ireland

Friend of ALONE, Vincent Browne, acted as moderator for today’s symposium

Dublin, 17th May 2019  ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society have partnered to lead a discussion on ageing in Ireland. The symposium titled ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’ was moderated by friend of ALONE and broadcaster Vincent Browne in St Vincent’s Hospital’s Education Centre today.

Focusing on responses to issues facing older people and solutions to these challenges, the seminar discussed housing options, loneliness and social isolation, community supports and delayed hospital discharges, among others. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society believe that the time to discuss and plan how Ireland will support our ageing population is now.

Today’s seminar welcomed experts in the care for older people, including representatives of Social Justice Ireland, the Department of Health, St Vincent’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St James’ Hospital in addition to ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society.

Speaking to the importance of linking health and community services to support older people, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Ageing with appropriate supports is an issue for everyone in Ireland. For the best results in terms of quality of care, independent living and sustainability, we must engage in joint-up actions to effectively tackle the challenges facing older people. ALONE is delighted to have partnered with the Irish Gerontological Society on today’s event and we hope the dialogue continues and innovative solutions can be developed.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Irish Gerontological Society President, said, “Today’s symposium in partnership with ALONE and with the invaluable input from all aspects pertaining to older people is essential is solving the issues currently affecting the lives of our older people, but also anticipated challenges and opportunities.”

“The IGS is particularly concerned with the persistent issue of delayed hospital discharges and today we have launched a position paper to address this challenge. Significant for the health and wellbeing of an older person, as well as the efficiency of hospitals, innovative solutions must be implemented to tackle delayed discharges.”

 

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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.

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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.