ALONE announce pilot of THE HomeShare service

PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

 

ALONE and The Ink Factory team up to combat ageism

PRESS RELEASE

‘Bucket Listers’ prepare to get inked

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

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

PRESS RELEASE

Charity for older people welcomes new tenants to refurbished homes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

ENDS

About ALONE
Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing. ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 233 6033

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

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

PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

 

ENDS

About ALONE
Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing. ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 233 6033

ALONE express concern for vulnerable older people ahead of heatwave

PRESS RELEASE

Charity asks communities to maintain contact with older living alone

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

ENDS

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week.  ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, Lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

 

Loneliness Taskforce calls for €3 million annual funding to combat loneliness

PRESS RELEASE

‘A Connected Ireland’ Report launched in the Royal College of Surgeons today

13/6/18 Prof Brian Lawlor, St Vincents Hospital, Justin McNulty, SDLP MLA Newry and Armagh, Dr Eddie Murphy, Psychologist, Sinead Dooley, Deputy CEO Irish Rural Link, Dr Keith Swanick, Spokesperson on Health and Mental Health in the Seanad, Sean Moynihan, CEO Alone, Sabrina McEntee, Youthreach, Cavan at the launch of the Connected Ireland Report by the Loneliness Taskforce at the Royal College of Surgeons, which calling for 3 million euro annual funding be maid available by the Government to combat loneliness. Picture:Arthur Carron

 

Dublin, 13th June 2018: The Loneliness Taskforce has launched its report recommending that the Government take action on loneliness in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) today.

The report, titled ‘A Connected Ireland’, recommends that annual funding of €3 million be put towards combating loneliness; responsibility to combat loneliness is allocated to a specific Minister and Government department; a public campaign is undertaken; support is offered to initiatives and organisations which alleviate loneliness as their primary function; an action plan for volunteering is initiated; and Irish-specific research on loneliness is undertaken.

The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Dr. 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.

The Taskforce received more than 300 submissions from the general public, Oireachtas and Northern Ireland Assembly Members, MEPs, NGOs, Local Authorities, Public Participation Networks, and Volunteer Networks across the country, both North and South.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said at the launch, “We urge all members of Government not just to read this report, but to act on the recommendations we have made. The submissions to the Taskforce included hundreds of ideas for recommendations to the Government to address loneliness. The level of interest in the work of the Taskforce shows how vital this issue is to the people of Ireland.”

Moynihan continued, “We have recommended that €3 million in funding be provided annually to alleviate loneliness, but this is just the beginning. We need research, campaigning, and support for initiatives which address loneliness to be implemented now and for the foreseeable future. I hope that this conversation and the actions the Taskforce has started will continue well after this initial funding is spent.”

Chairperson of the Loneliness Taskforce, Dr Keith Swanick said, “The goal of reducing unnecessary loneliness and isolation is a challenge, but it is achievable.”

He continued, “As a nation, Ireland is ageing with the percentage of people over 70 growing faster than the rest of the population. It was very evident from the submissions that loneliness is not confined to the old and the rise in single-person households plus the increased pressures on young people are also contributing to the risk of loneliness.”

The report, which lays out a vision for “an Ireland free from loneliness”, was launched by the members of the Taskforce at an event attended by members of the Oireachtas, local authority representatives and members of the NGO sector.

The full report is available here: The Loneliness Taskforce – A Connected Island

ENDS

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, Lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

 

ALONE hosts BNI ‘Building Stronger Communities’ Seminar

PRESS RELEASE

Minister Seán Kyne opens Befriending Network Ireland Seminar

 

19/5/18 Sean Moynihan, CEO Alone, Caroline Muller-Wallace, Alone BNI co-ordinator and Minister Sean Kyne at the ALONE BNI conference at the Ashling Hotel in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron

Dublin, 24th May 2018   The Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) seminar, organised by ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, took place in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin earlier today.

The seminar was opened by Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Seán Kyne, and included an address by Professor Brian Lawlor, Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Psychiatrist at St James’ Hospital. More than twenty befriending organisations from across the country attended the BNI seminar.

Speaking at the conference, Minister Kyne said, “I am delighted to be here to open the BNI seminar and to celebrate the role befriending can play in creating friendships and combating loneliness across the country. Our ageing demographic and changing society means that initiatives like BNI are more vital than ever. These Befriending organisations, and their volunteers, play a huge role in building stronger communities across Ireland.”

Established by a number of befriending organisations across Ireland in 2015, Befriending Network Ireland (BNI) has grown to a national network of more than 60 organisations. The seminar comes at the end of a week celebrating the central role BNI organisations have in communities across the country.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “These organisations are the glue that holds communities together. ALONE is delighted to host BNI and to ensure that everyone in Ireland has access to quality-assured services, regardless of location or service provider. It is fantastic to watch the network growing every year.”

The importance of technology in supporting older people to age at home was also emphasised as ALONE launched its new befriending app, BFriend, at the seminar. The new mobile application allows volunteers and staff to record their visits to people in the community, feedback any concerns or good news about the older person, stay up to date with events such as volunteer socials and communicate with other volunteers. Developed by ALONE in partnership with Netwell CASALA, it is a key element of ALONE’s wider BConnect service for training and technology.

Seán Moynihan said, “Every volunteer will have access to BFriend when they are out on their visits. This will help us to keep our volunteers safe. It will also help us to better support older people as we receive important updates from our volunteers in real-time.”

Following a six month trial period in 2017, BFriend is now available for befriending organisations as a web application, on Android, and on iOS. The aim is to have 15,000 volunteers using the app by 2022.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week.  ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

 

ALONE celebrates reaching 1000 volunteers during National Volunteering Week

PRESS RELEASE

Charity supporting older people is encouraging people to get involved with volunteering

 

Dublin, 15th May 2018: ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is encouraging people to take part in this year’s National Volunteering Week as they celebrate reaching 1,000 volunteers today.

This is a landmark achievement for the charity. ALONE hopes that even more people will be inspired to dedicate their time to helping others.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “After 40 years of service, we are delighted to be taking our 1000th volunteer on board. ALONE began as a small organisation in Dublin run by 30 volunteers. Today we have 1,000 volunteers and we help thousands of people across the country every year. Over the coming years we plan to increase this number to 9,000 volunteers so that we can meet the increasing demand for befriending and support.”

“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,” he said.

ALONE’s 1000th volunteer, Josephine Lennon from Malahide, Co. Dublin, was presented with a certificate by ALONE’s longest-running volunteer, Máire Ní Bháin, after her volunteer training yesterday evening. Máire has been volunteering with ALONE for 36 years.

“I always worked, but following a cancer diagnosis in 2014, I had to stop working. So there was a question about what I was going to do with my time, because I have lots to contribute,” said Josephine. “ALONE kept coming back as something I wanted to do. Loneliness is a common experience for people who have cancer. It made me really value friendship.”

“With volunteering, you get so much more back than you give. It’s very rewarding. It gives you a real purpose and it helps you make a difference.”

ALONE volunteers make more than 35,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support, both in person and over the phone, every year. The value of volunteers to ALONE is worth more than €500,000 per year. Most of ALONE’s volunteers take part in Befriending, but Volunteers also help out at events like dinner dances, cinema trips and holidays, and help with administration.

Moynihan added, “ALONE greatly values the time and effort offered by our volunteers throughout the year. We would not still be here without their dedication. It is our strong community of volunteers who allow us to help so many people each week.”

“What is so special about volunteering is the benefits to both involved, particularly the relationship between the Befriending volunteer and older person. Volunteering is good for you – it keeps you active, builds communities, and can change your life,” said Moynihan.

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

 

ENDS

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week.  ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

First meeting of the Loneliness Taskforce takes place

PRESS RELEASE

Over 300 submissions received as Taskforce coordinates a response to loneliness in Ireland

Dublin, 9th May 2018: The Loneliness Taskforce has had its first meeting today in Leinster House.

The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Dr. 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. Through its work, the Loneliness Taskforce is seeking to increase awareness about the issue and to produce a set of recommendations for Government, state agencies and all policy makers.

Over 300 submissions have been received by the Taskforce sent from the general public, Oireachtas and Northern Ireland Assembly Members, MEPs, NGOs, Local Authorities, Public Participation Networks, and Volunteer Networks across the country, both North and South. The establishment of the Taskforce has created a much-needed national conversation on the loneliness and social isolation faced by people in Ireland.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We have been overwhelmed at the level of interest and support the Taskforce has received from all over the country, and particularly the huge number of people who have offered their help.”

Moynihan continued, “We look forward to making progress with our report and presenting it to the Government, and we hope that meaningful action is taken as a result. Loneliness is not something to be brushed off – it is a public health issue, one that needs serious consideration.”

Chairperson of the Loneliness Taskforce, Dr Keith Swanick said, “As a GP, in my practice in rural Ireland, I often see the profound medical and mental health problems which are often exacerbated by loneliness. I am well aware however, that Loneliness crosses the rural-urban divide and I witnessed the same problems a number of years ago as a GP in the heart of Finglas.”

He continued, “Through the submissions we have received, the Taskforce has heard from people who are young, new parents, those who are divorced or a single parent, from people with disabilities, returning emigrants, home carers and entrepreneurs. We can say with certainty that loneliness never discriminates between young and old, rich and poor or urban and rural.”

The Loneliness Taskforce includes members from the education, sporting, nursing, psychology, business and academic sectors. It is hoped that the Taskforce will release their report with recommendations for Government, state agencies and all policy makers in the summer.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, Lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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

 

ALONE welcomes announcement of €15 million funding for Housing with Support Demonstrator Project

PRESS RELEASE

Charity also welcomes increase in funding for the Housing Adaptation Grant

Dublin, 4th May 2018: ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed Minister Damien English’s announcement of €15 million funding for the Housing with Support Demonstrator Project today. The project is being developed by ALONE and Circle VHA with support from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Health, Dublin City Council and the HSE.

The Minister’s comments came at today’s launch of the Evaluation of Phase One of the Demonstrator Project under the Rebuilding Ireland programme in the Mansion House, Dublin, in the presence of the Lord Mayor.

It is planned that Circle will build 52 units of age-friendly homes in Inchicore, Dublin 8, and ALONE will provide support to the tenants and older people in the surrounding area. It is hoped that the Housing with Support Model will be replicated by agencies all over the country.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said “ALONE is proud to be working on this groundbreaking Demonstrator Project to introduce the Housing with Support Model to Ireland. There is an urgent need to develop and provide practical housing choices for older people living in Ireland who may have support requirements, and whose needs may change as they age. The Housing with Support Model, to be built in Inchicore, will provide 52 age-friendly homes for older people requiring various levels of support.”

Moynihan added, “We are looking forward to developing the Housing with Support Model and are delighted that in the coming years, ALONE and Circle VHA will be working together to offer a new choice of housing which is replicable, scalable, and most of all, desirable, for older people in Ireland.”

ALONE also welcomed the 11% increase in funding for the Housing Adaptation Grant which was announced by the Minister at the meeting.

“We welcome the fact that this is a double digit increase in funding. From our work on the ground, we know that the demand for Housing Adaptation Grants is high and the system is complex. We will work with the Minister and Department of Housing over the coming years to bring this to a demand-led model, one which is accessible and straightforward,” Moynihan said.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Micheál Mac Donncha, also supported the important progress made with the Housing with Support Model. Recognising the growing issue surrounding housing for older people in Ireland, the Lord Mayor cited that a doubling of those aged over-65, and quadrupling of those over 80 is expecting by 2045.

“I believe this project will act as a model that other housing providers can replicate. I look forward to seeing the results of this unique and positive development, which I believe will set a new standard for the future of housing provision for older persons in Ireland,” he said.

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at www.alone.ie. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.

 

ENDS

About ALONE

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year. 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

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