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

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

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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.

Lisney host Charity Auction in aid of ALONE

Lisney Charity Auction in aid of ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, in Farrier & Draper on South William Street on Thursday 27th April
Lisney Charity Auction in aid of ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, in Farrier & Draper on South William Street on Thursday 27th April

Ireland’s leading estate agents assist in supporting older people to age at home

21st April 2017 Lisney, the leading estate agents in Ireland, are hosting an auction in aid of ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, in Farrier & Draper on South William Street on Thursday 27th April at 6.30pm. The auction, which is part of a new charity partnership between Lisney and ALONE, is free to all members of the public but guest list places must be reserved by emailing marketing@lisney.com.

Items for auction on the night include a signed Dublin GAA Football jersey, VIP tickets to Taste of Dublin, Weekend Longitude tickets, an iPad and tickets to the Ireland VS South Africa November Series Rugby game on 12th November.

As part of the ALONE partnership Lisney staff will be holding further fundraising events in aid of ALONE throughout the year including a Tidy Up of ALONE Housing on 21st July and the assembling and distribution of 500 hampers at Christmas. The company will also support employees in becoming ALONE befriending volunteers.

Commenting on the new partnership with Lisney, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “I would like to thank Lisney for choosing ALONE as their charity partner this year. The auction is an exciting event to launch their new partnership and the funds raised will make a huge difference to ALONE and the work that we do.”

Ross Shorten, Director at Lisney, added, ““We are really pleased to announce ALONE as our charity partner. Lisney has over 100 staff and we aim to be a true partner to ALONE this year by volunteering our time and our professional skills including offering ALONE strategic advice on their supportive housing portfolio. ALONE will also be the sole beneficiary of all our fundraising efforts in 2017.”

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded by Willie Bermingham. 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 hundreds of older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

ALONE engages in government consultation on new home care model

PRESS RELEASE

 13 charities collaborate on home care submission to Department of Health

Dublin, 24th April 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has aligned with 12 other charities and advocacy groups in response to a new review on the regulation and financing of homecare by the Health Research Board that was published by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD earlier this month.

ALONE and the other NGOs, which include Age Action, Alzheimer Society of Ireland and MS Ireland among others, have worked together on a submission paper that outlines the regulations and standards they believe should be incorporated into the new statutory home care scheme as proposed by Minister McEntee.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “A coordinated approach is required from all agencies and advocacy groups involved in enabling home care. We commend the Minister on establishing a dedicated unit within the Department of Health to progress this work as a matter of urgency.”

He continued, “We look forward to being part of the consultation process and the implementation of this new national home care model. It is vitally important that NGO’s, recipients of care, carers and social services are all engaged in the process. All four countries included in the Health Research Board’s recent report involved NGOs, private home care providers and family carers in significant decision making in the setting up and operation of their national home care model.”

The submission paper submitted to the Department of Health by the alliance outlines the key elements they believe should be incorporated into this proposed home care scheme. The group has requested that the scheme provides a robust set of processes that will assure quality of care for those who receive home care such as the assurance that home care staff are paid and supported appropriately and that a clear inspections and complaints policy is in place.

Sean Moynihan added, “A robust home care scheme should interact with pre-existing policies around health and wellbeing, the dementia strategy, the carers’ strategy, the national positive ageing strategy, the ratification of the CRPD and the national neuro-rehabilitation strategy. As the healthcare sector focuses on maintaining and building health and resilience, home care can provide rehabilitation and avert the requirement for higher levels of support.”

He concluded, “As part of the consultation process we hope to explore types of assessments which could be used to understand how best to allocate services in a timely and equitable way as there does not appear to be clarity about how this currently happens. By placing the scheme on a statutory footing, it should provide people with care as needed, regardless of age, geography or economic circumstances.”

Other elements highlighted in the submission paper are the necessity for funding mechanisms that will ensure that a robust home care scheme can be delivered year-on-year, accessible to those who would most benefit from it.

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

Read the submission here.

ALONE welcomes progress on ageing at home and right to homecare

11th April 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed a new review on the regulation and financing of homecare but would like further information on means testing older people for this service. The Health Research Board’s review of the regulation and financing of homecare in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Scotland was published today by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We welcome this research as we believe that there needs to be consistency in homecare services across the country with real and transparent regulations and standards. It is necessary that homecare staff are paid and supported appropriately for effective supports at home to work. Further investment in technology is also required to develop new ways in assisting older people to remain in their own homes.”

He continued, “While we recognise that there may be a case for some form of means testing, we strongly advise that any means testing is mindful of the existing stresses on older people’s finances and that the testing framework does not disadvantage older people further. Currently all HSE home care packages are provided free, without a means test, after an older person’s needs are assessed. This report shows that older people in Germany and the Netherlands are paying compulsory long-term care insurance and are also liable for means-adjusted co-payments, while in Scotland the threshold for access to professional home care has been raised and only people with the highest level of needs are cared for.”

According to The Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative’s 2016 report 48% of older people reported that they experience some or extreme difficulty in maintaining their home. Older people need both physical and social supports to age at home as well as care supports. Through its Support Coordination, Befriending and Housing with Support services, ALONE provides vital supports to older people to assist them in remaining at home. They also help older people to navigate the system and access the services that they require. Often older people do not know what services and entitlements are there for them.

Sean Moynihan continued, “A robust homecare scheme should interact with pre-existing policies around health and wellbeing, the dementia strategy, the carers’ strategy, the national positive ageing strategy, the ratification of the CRPD and the national neuro-rehabilitation strategy. As the healthcare sector focuses on maintaining and building health and resilience, homecare can provide rehabilitation and avert the requirement for higher levels of support.”

Moynihan concluded, “A coordinated approach is required from all government department and agencies in enabling older people to age at home. Home care supports need to be factored into a holistic approach to support older people to age at home and to reduce the amount of older people being moved into nursing homes unnecessarily. We commend the Minister on establishing a dedicated unit within the Department of Health to progress this work as a matter of urgency and we look forward to working with her during the consultation process. This report is an important step in developing a new statutory homecare scheme in Ireland.”

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

ALONE welcomes inaugural National Positive Ageing Forum and commends Minister McEntee for giving a voice to the Aging Sector

30th March 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has commended the first ever National Positive Ageing Forum which was launched today by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee T.D., as part of the implementation of the National Positive Ageing Strategy.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, speaking at the launch commented, “ALONE welcomes the fact that the government is listening to the organisations working on a day-to-day basis with older people as part of the implementation of the National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS). All of the Ageing Sector organisations are aligned in their recommendations to the government, so it is fantastic that we finally have the opportunity to come together and engage with the relevant Government Departments on the key issues facing older people in Ireland.”

He continued, “On an individual and community level, we really need to look at how we want to take care of our older population. We need to keep planning and looking long term every year, as Ireland’s older population is set to reach 1.4million over the next 30 years. With the older demographic growing at such an unprecedented rate, it is necessary to have government backing for our solutions.”

Moynihan concluded, “We would like to thank Minister McEntee for initiating this forum and allowing the voices of the Ageing Sector to be heard. In responding to the current needs and demographic change a cross government department, agency and sectoral approach is essential. By coming together we will truly make Ireland a great place in which to be and grow old.”

ALONE works with older people 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.

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

ALONE & HSE launch New Support Coordination Services for Older People in North Dublin

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23rd March 2017  A new Support Coordination Service for older people in the Dublin North City and County area was launched in Swords County Hall today. ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has partnered with the HSE to expand its support services to all older people living in these communities.

The ALONE Support Coordination Service aims to respond to and address any issues facing older people, which are impacting on their ability to remain living independently in their own home. The charity’s Support Coordinators assist older people who live in a range of accommodation types; privately owned, private rented or social housing homes.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, added, “Repeated studies have demonstrated that ageing at home is the first choice of older people and their families. Our Support Coordination Service addresses issues faced by older people living in their own homes and works with statutory bodies, community organisation and other service providers to ensure that the older people get what they deserve. This can include anything from access to clothing allowances to addressing unsafe living environments, coordinating home adaption’s or linking older people in with befriending services in their area.”

Mary Walshe, Head of Social Care HSE, commented, “Support coordination services in the community are vitally important to empower and help older people to age well at home. It is important that older people feel supported in receiving the care they need and to live in a place of their own choosing. This new partnership between ALONE and the HSE will enhance the supports and services offered to older people in the community and ensure that all older people in the area have access to these services.”

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