ALONE expresses concern for older people in need following red weather warning

Dublin, 15th October 2017  ALONE, the charity which supports older people in need, is urging older people to take extra care following the status red wind warning by Met Éireann. The entire country has been placed under a status red wind warning with Hurricane Ophelia set to hit our shores tomorrow morning. People are being advised to stay indoors.

 

Met Éireann said: “Ex-Hurricane Ophelia is forecast to track directly over Ireland during the daytime tomorrow. Violent and destructive gusts are forecast with all areas at risk and in particular the southwest and south in the morning, and eastern counties in the afternoon.”

 

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. ALONE is 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. ALONE is also asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed.

 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status red weather warning from Met Éireann 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.”

 

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 ready to 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. Older people are also advised to have a list of important phone numbers close to their home phone.

 

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

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

ALONE responds to Budget 2018

Dublin, 10th October 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the increase to the state pension, announced as part of Budget 2018, but stated that the government needs to do more to support Ireland’s aging demographic.

 

ALONE partnered with a number of other aging charities, including Active Retirement Ireland, Age Action, Age and Opportunity, Senior Citizens Parliament and Third Age, for their pre-budget submission where they called for an increase in the state pension, household benefits and a focus on transport in rural areas.

 

Following today’s Budget 2018 announcement, Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “While we welcome the €5 increase to the pension, we have been campaigning for an indexing of the pension to ensure that its value is safeguarded for older people. This would end the yearly calls for pension increases and give older people fair financial independence.”

 

“Older people are highly dependent on the state pension and the vast majority rely on social welfare payments to protect them from poverty. There has to be particular concern for those living alone, those with incomplete contribution records who will not receive this increase – such as widows, carers, and people with long-term disability/illness.”

 

In terms of social benefits announced for older people, Moynihan commented, “Fuel allowance is to be increased but we would like to see it restored to a unit cost method. The new telephone support of €2.50 per week for those on the living alone and fuel allowance will enable older people to feel safe in their own homes but, again, not all older people will be entitled to this allowance. We would also like to see the Christmas bonus restored to 100%. This additional payment at Christmas time was abolished in 2008, a move which effectively took a full weekly social protection payment away.”

 

In response to the increased fund of €1.83 billion for housing in 2018, Moynihan commented, “We welcome this increase but there has been no mention of housing for older people or adaptive housing yet. If we focus on housing with supports for older people now, we won’t find ourselves in a situation of another housing crisis as the demographic continues to age.”

 

Following Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe’s announcement of a €90 million healthcare access plan that will ensure patients avail of medical care in the “most appropriate setting to them”, ALONE is hopeful that this will include homecare packages for older people. Moynihan said, “Studies show that 50% of older people waiting for, or sent to, nursing homes from hospital wished to remain at home and possibly could have done so, demonstrating the absolute need for there to be an increase in the home care budget to provide options for the older population across the country.”

 

Moynihan concluded, “ALONE will continue to campaign for the National Positive Aging Strategy, of which there was no mention in today’s Budget announcement. As Ireland’s older population is set to reach 1.4million over the next 30 years, supporting older people must be a priority for every government.”

 

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.

ALONE announce new media partnership with Dublin City FM

 

CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan and CEO of Dublin City FM, Mick Hanley
CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan and CEO of Dublin City FM, Mick Hanley

 

New alliance with Dublin City FM to offer further support towards older people in Dublin and across the nation

 

Dublin, 28th September 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, are delighted to announce a new media partnership with Dublin City FM. This alliance will support the work of ALONE, as it aims to raise awareness of issues facing older people living in Ireland.

 

This new move will see ALONE’s work receive increased media presence, emphasising the issues concerning older people. ALONE provides services including Support Coordination, Befriending, Housing Support and campaigns on topics such as housing, poor services and more, which offer vital support to older people in Ireland. This new partnership will aim to improve awareness of this work and opportunities for public and recipient involvement.

 

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We are delighted to begin this new partnership with Dublin City FM. It points to the prevalence of issues facing older people and highlights the importance of ALONE’s work as we fight to combat these. By partnering with us, Dublin City FM recognise these issues and I look forward to seeing how our work together can ultimately help older people.”

 

He continued, “This alliance will greatly help to communicate ALONE’s services and messages to the public, bringing such issues of homelessness, loneliness and lack of supports to the forefront of listeners’ awareness. This is of increasing importance as Ireland faces a rapidly growing older demographic.”

 

CEO of Dublin City FM, Mick Hanley, spoke on the new partnership, “Dublin City FM is excited to embark on this new partnership with ALONE. We greatly appreciate the work they have achieved and hope to support this work, and further the benefit to older people in Dublin. The issues that ALONE campaigns for are central to our society, deserving of attention and action. Together, Dublin City FM aims to be a part of this action.”

 

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

 

ENDS

 dubcity103-2logo   alonelogoendline

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

 

 

Neil Delamere launches ‘Dublin Amber Friendship Week’ in aid of ALONE

lva-dublinamber

Dublin, 18th  September 2017- Comedian Neil Delamere is calling on people throughout Dublin to gather their friends and head to their local pub next week in support of ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home. Dublin Amber Friendship Week, a community initiative of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), will take place in over 300 pubs in Dublin from Sunday 24th to Saturday 30th September 2017.

The LVA, which represents 600 Dublin publicans, has raised €100,000 for ALONE so far this year and hope to raise significant funds through Dublin Amber Friendship Week. To support the initiative, 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 its Befriending Service which provides companionship to older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit. There will also be ALONE collection buckets in a number of participating pubs throughout the week.

Neil Delamere, speaking at the launch in Dublin today, said, “I am delighted to be here in Lemon & Duke to launch Dublin Amber Friendship Week on behalf of ALONE. It’s a great excuse to head down to the local with your friends, have a pint and raise money for a great cause.”

John Gleeson, Chairman of the LVA, explained how the LVA partnership with ALONE came about, “Last year, when we were discussing what charity to support during our bicentenary year, we came across Neil discussing ALONE’s Christmas campaign on ‘Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge’ and it really struck a chord with us.”

He continued, “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 end of our bicentenary year of 2017.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We would like to thank Neil and Dublin’s publicans for supporting ALONE and Dublin Amber Friendship Week. With this campaign we hope to raise vital funds for ALONE’s Befriending Service. Together, we are working so that no older person is left without friendship and support.”

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

For more information on Dublin Amber Friendship Week and participating pubs please follow @LVADublinPubs on Twitter or search ‘Licensed Vintners Association’ on Facebook. Also check for updates with our media part Publin.ie We would love to see your pictures using #DublinAmber

Dinner Dance in Dundalk celebrates ALONE’s North East expansion

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Dublin, 14th  September 2017  The music was playing and the dance floor was full of more than 160 people at the North East Hub Dinner Dance in The Carrickdale Hotel and Spa in Dundalk on Tuesday evening.

 

This is the first social event hosted by ALONE since they announced a new strategic partnership with Netwell CASALA, the research centre for ageing at DkIT, earlier this summer. The partnership has led to an expansion of existing social care and community support services for older people in the North East.

christinaoboyleandkathleenoreilly

ALONE dinner dances are held throughout the year in each of ALONE’s Hubs to give older people, their volunteers and staff an enjoyable day out and a chance to catch up with each other. There is always a beautiful meal, some great music and, of course, lots of dancing.

kathleenduffy

One attendee said, “I’ve got my dancing shoes on! It’s so wonderful to come out and see everyone, and to enjoy a delicious meal together.”

 

Since the launch in May, the North East Hub has seen  48 new volunteers and 41 older people matched with a Befriender in their area. Befriending makes a significant difference in the lives of the older person through a weekly visit and, usually, what grows into a genuine friendship.

ALONE’s North East Hub offers to bring greater resources and supports to the existing services in the area and aid anyone over the age of 60 to age at home and within their community.

 

If you or someone you know could benefit from the services and support of ALONE, please reach out hello@alone.ie or 016791032.

 

ENDS

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

ALONE – Reintroduction of bedsits, along with pressure to downsize, will impact older people the most

 

 

ALONE expresses disappointment over new plans to be unveiled by Minister for Housing

 

Dublin, 13th September 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has expressed concern over Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy’s plans to re-introduce bedsits to tackle the homelessness crisis. In early 2013, it became illegal for landlords to rent out bedsit-type accommodation over concerns that many were dilapidated, run-down and inadequate for modern habitation.

 

Sean  Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We are opposed to Minister Murphy’s plans to bring back single-room occupancy as a means of tackling the housing crisis. We see this as a backward step for the housing crisis. We in ALONE, along with many other organisations, have spent years campaigning for the abolition of bedsits. People may not be aware that bedsits mean shared bathrooms and we believe that all individuals deserve a home that is of a high standard with private sanitary facilities, proper heating appliances, and proper food preparation areas. The standard of housing needs to be improved not diminished.”

 

He continued, “In a time of extremely high rents, the government is rewarding landlords who have taken no actions to improve housing standards. Older people on fixed incomes cannot compete in the current rental sector and we would be concerned that it will be our older people who end up in living in these tiny bedsits.”

 

The ERSI’s report on Housing and Ireland’s Older population (2016) shows that the proportion of older people downsizing to bedsits and bedsit like accommodation, 4.6% premove and 11.2% postmove, is at a much higher rate than other movers. [1]

 

Moynihan continued, “ALONE isn’t opposed to downsizing for older people, we support older people moving to smaller, age-suitable homes in later life. However, in the light of these figures, rhetoric towards downsizing for older people coupled with the reintroduction of bedsits could have seriously unfortunate consequences for the older community in the future, particularly older single people. Studies have shown us that older persons spend more time in their home than any other demographic; the average 80 year old will spend 80% of their day at home. They need a space that they can live in – not somewhere to just exist.”

 

ALONE was founded 40 years ago to tackle the housing situation for older persons, today the housing situation is worse than ever. 87% of all older people in ALONE housing come from homeless services. There has been an 11.4 % growth in the number of people over 60 on the housing waiting list, this increases to 18.5 % in Dublin, and ALONE has an average of 25 applications for every housing unit that they provide.

 

Moynihan concluded “We have an ageing demographic and we need to make positive, sustainable plans for the future to ensure that older people are not going to be left surviving in substandard accommodation. In light of these comments, bedsits only account for 0.6% of the national residential stock. The Minister’s energy would be better focused on simplifying the process for developing social housing and housing with supports.”

Rebuilding Ireland’s target for housing with supports is 50 units, while the demand is approximately 4,200 units nationally. Repeated studies have demonstrated that ageing at home is the first choice of older people and their families.

 

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

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

[1] https://www.esri.ie/pubs/QEC2016SPR_SA_Barrett.pdf

ALONE calls on local authorities to prioritise the development of social housing for older people

Charity comments in advance of Emergency Housing Summit tomorrow

 

Dublin, 7th September 2017  In advance of the Emergency Housing Summit taking place in the Custom House tomorrow ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has expressed concern over the lack of housing options for older people throughout Ireland.

 

At the Emergency Housing Summit, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy will meet with each of the 31 local authorities’ Chief Executives and the Department’s senior management housing team to explore additional measures to help and to house families and individuals currently in emergency accommodation and accessing emergency state supports.

 

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan said, “87% of all older people in ALONE housing come from homeless services. There has been an 11.4 % growth in the number of people over 60 on the housing waiting list, this increases to 18.5 % in Dublin, and we have an average of 25 applications for every housing unit. Older people on fixed incomes cannot compete in the current rental sector.”

 

He continued, “The government needs to focus their energy on further housing choices for older people in communities throughout Ireland. In order to make this happen, local authorities need to be supported with funding and staffing resources as they are the only bodies that can deliver on the scale that is required. However, this may mean requesting the EU to amend borrowing rules for the greater good of society.”

 

ALONE outlined their reasons for prioritising housing units for older people:

  • Providing suitable units for older people will ease the pressure on the rental market
  • Smaller units are more cost effective to build
  • Smaller units are easier to locate and to secure planning permission for
  • To create movement in the market, with older people downsizing etc.
  • To respond to Ireland’s ageing demographic
  • To address the demand for individuals and couples on the housing lists
  • To avoid the next housing and homeless crisis

 

Moynihan concluded, “ALONE also provides housing with support to older people. While Rebuilding Ireland’s target for this type of housing is 50 units, the demand is approximately 4,200 units nationally. Repeated studies have demonstrated that ageing at home is the first choice of older people and their families. We hope that our points will be taken into consideration at the Housing Summit tomorrow as we believe that, with the support of local authorities and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, we can greatly improve the lives of older people in Ireland.”

 

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

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

 

 

News Release: Government focus should be on new technology & houses with support

NEWS RELEASE

 

ALONE – 

Charity responds to proposed changes to Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme

 

Dublin, 31st August 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed proposed changes to the Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme that would increase the disposable income of older people in nursing homes but highlights that there has been no follow up to a review of the Scheme[1] carried out 18 months ago.

 

A 2015 review of the Fair Deal Scheme recommended supported housing schemes linked to appropriate community care services that could offer an alternative option to support older people to age at home, and  the use of technology to facilitate and support new approaches to care for older people.

 

CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan said, “As the government’s policy is to support older people to age at home, we welcome this discussion on the issues surrounding the Fair Deal Scheme. However, we are still waiting on the suggested changes to the scheme that were published in the last government review a year and a half ago.”

 

He continued, “We all need to focus on alternative options to the Fair Deal Scheme including ways to support older people to age at home. The NHI survey in 2015 found 13% of those in long-term residential care are low dependency. In addition, an audit of St James Hospital at the time found that 24% of those referred to long-term residential care had low dependency and therefore could potentially benefit from supported living arrangements.”

 

ALONE believes that the energy needs to be focused on further housing choices and supports for older people in the community. Currently, 48% of people over 50 have housing condition problems[2] and the charity has expressed concern at the insufficient and inconsistent housing adaptation grants. ALONE has been calling on the government to look at Housing with Support models for older people so that they can age in the community. The demand for this model is 4,200 by 2020[3].

 

Moynihan concluded, “Nursing Homes play a key role in the care of those with high support needs. However, with Ireland’s older population set to reach 1.4 million over the next 30 years, the provision of quality home care packages for older people is a necessity. ALONE believes that it is vitally important to have services and supports in the community as these are of equal value to older people as an increase in disposable income.”

 

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

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

 

 

 

 

[1] http://health.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Review-of-Nursing-Homes-Support-Scheme.pdf

[2] HSE  Department of Health national indicators report 2016, page 89

[3] ALONE Research

ALONE ‘Loss of 90,000 bed days demonstrates need for an increase in home care budget ’

ALONE responds to latest HSE figures

 

Dublin, 16th August 2017

 

ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is calling on the government to increase funding for homecare following the report that 90,000 bed days have been lost in the hospital system so far this year because of delayed discharges.  This is according to HSE figures provided to Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher.

ALONE believes that investing in home care packages is a major part of solving the increase in delayed discharges, as older people are being forced to remain in acute hospital beds due to lack of supports to go home.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We agree with Billy Kelleher’s comments today that older patients are not being supported and given access to appropriate step down care. Studies show that 50% of older people waiting for, or sent to, nursing homes from hospital wished to remain at home and possibly could have done so, demonstrating the absolute need for there to be an increase in the home care budget to provide options for the older population across the country.”

A home care package would only cost around €400 a week while keeping an older person in hospital, taking up an acute bed, can cost up to €7,000 a week. ALONE have conducted a cost comparison on the various options for caring for older people

 

  • The cost of an acute hospital bed is between €800 and €900 per day
  • The cost of a nursing home bed per day is between €100 and €200
  • The cost of home help 3 times a day is between €50 and €70
  • The cost of ALONE housing with supports is €34 a day

Moynihan continued, “This comparison demonstrates that there is an urgent need to properly resource and plan for the housing and care options for our older people.  Aside from the fact that home care is just a fraction of the cost of hospital care, older people deserve the support they need and want when being discharged from hospital.”

Moynihan concluded, “Nursing Homes play a key role in the care of the very old with high support needs. However, with Ireland’s older population set to reach 1.4 million over the next 30 years, the provision of quality home care packages for older people is a necessity.”

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

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

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

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

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

ALONE ‘Revisions to Fair Deal Scheme offers no solutions for older people’

Dublin, 14th August 2017  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has expressed concern over the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government’s announcement today that the government are exploring changes to the “Fair Deal” Nursing Home Support Scheme that would encourage and facilitate the use of vacant properties of those in nursing home care.

 

Minister Murphy is in consultations with the HSE and Department of Finance to facilitate the use of these vacant properties in a new ‘Vacant Homes Strategy’ which will be launched next month.

 

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan said, “As the government’s policy is to support older people to age at home, we are concerned that this announcement by Minister Murphy sends conflicting messages and places older people in a difficult position as it may lead the public believe older people are blocking the housing market.  The number of houses left vacant by those in nursing home care is small but the principle of protecting older is a large issue.”

 

“The government’s focus should be on supply and meeting the demand for housing in line with the demographic change. The government and councils are the only ones who can deliver on the scales needed. Previous schemes have not worked but they do take up valuable resources and time.”

 

He continued, “This proposal contains no solutions for older people and is ignoring the fact that there is actually a shortage of suitable housing for older people. Each person and family has a unique situation and it’s not always as easy as simply selling or renting the house. We need to be building housing and addressing the needs of older people, offering them smaller units in the community and giving them the choice to “ downsize” if they chose.”

 

ALONE believes that the government needs to focus their energy on further housing choices for older people in the community. Currently, 48% of people over 50 have housing condition problems[1]and the charity has expressed concern at the insufficient and inconsistent housing adaptation grants.

 

Moynihan continued, “We in ALONE have been calling on the government to look at Housing with Support models for older people so that they can age in the community. The demand for this model is 4,200 by 2020[2]. Older people want to age at home. If they wanted to vacate their properties and sell or rent they would, but there are complicated stories behind each person. We urge the government to prioritise the development of social housing and ensure older people aren’t forgotten.”

 

He concluded, “Waiting list for social housing for older people will double from 6,954 to 12,672 by 2022, which equates to over 33% of the forecasted 47,000 social housing units to be built within Rebuilding Ireland’s lifetime. If we build more housing for older people who are on the social list, or they can buy suitable, affordable housing, we will ease some of the pressure on the housing market.”

 

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

[1] HSE  Department of Health national indicators report 2016 page 89

[2] ALONE Research