Tony Gunning Art Shop raises €11,784 for ALONE

Charity pop up shop sells hundreds of paintings to support older people

Dublin, 24th January  ALONE, the charity that supports older people, today closed its Tony Gunning art pop-up shop which raised €11,784 for the charity. The store, located on the third floor of Dublin’s Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, has been open since November.

Dublin artist Tony Gunning donated more than 400 of his original paintings to ALONE, which have been sold with the help of 70 volunteer shop assistants and seven corporate groups.

With support from Lisney, U Store it and Delaney Mini Removals, and space donated by Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, the pop-up shop operated with minimal overheads, allowing 100% of proceeds to support the charity’s work.

“This is a fantastic example of how communities can come together to support a charitable project,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan. “We are consistently overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors and supporters, but the level of cooperation and support we received from all involved in this project has been astounding.”

Moynihan continued, “We have received wonderful support from Tony Gunning, our volunteers, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Lisney, U Store it, Capita, Slack, Cadence, Delaney Mini Removals and so many other people and organisations, all of whom worked together to help to make this happen. The funds raised from this project will help us to support older people across Ireland.”

The remainder of the paintings will be sold by Irish liquidators Rugs to Rhinos Harold’s Cross, with all funds going to ALONE.

“I am delighted to present the proceeds from the sale of my collection of artwork to ALONE,” said artist Tony Gunning. “I hope that more people will be able to benefit from ALONE’s services as a result.”

Tony Gunning has been working as a professional artist since 2000. During this time, he has welcomed great success and earned appraisal from far afield. In 2007, his work was recognised by fellow artists as he was presented with the Curator’s Award. Gunning’s art, which ranges from small local scenes to large contemporary realism, has also been shown at the European Parliament in Brussels.

 

About ALONE 

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

Give the gift of friendship this Christmas

ALONE urges the public to reach out to older people spending Christmas alone

Dublin, 19th December 2018  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is asking members of the public to give the gift of friendship this Christmas and into the New Year. The charity is asking the public to help older people living alone by reaching out to their older neighbours and friends, by donating to ALONE, or by becoming a Befriending volunteer. The charity is also urging older people experiencing loneliness to get in touch with them for help.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Christmas can be one of the loneliest times of the year for some older people. However we need to remember that the loneliness felt at Christmas continues throughout the winter, and many older people will begin the New Year by themselves. There are more than 100,000 older people across Ireland who are struggling with loneliness and Christmas is just one of many long nights throughout the winter months which can be particularly difficult. We can all be guilty of getting caught up in the build up to Christmas as we reunite with friends and family, but it is important to remember that some older people may not have these connections to spend the festive season with.”

ALONE say that there are a number of ways the public can help an older person, starting with reaching out to an older person for a conversation. However, the charity is urging the public not to forget about the older people in their lives after the festive season.

Moynihan continued, “Starting a conversation with an older person you know can really make a difference this winter. On Christmas Day, ALONE will deliver Christmas dinners to older people who will be spending this Christmas by themselves, but loneliness isn’t just for Christmas day. We hope that communities will come together to reach out to older people in need of support or assistance, and, if they need it, to encourage them to pick up the phone and get in touch with ALONE. Alternatively, anyone looking to volunteer with ALONE can sign up as a Befriending volunteer.”

He concluded, “ALONE and the older people we support need help all year round. Last year we doubled the number of people we supported but donations only increased by 15%. The donations we receive from the public at Christmas help us to continue supporting older people across the country. We want to thank everyone one who has, and continues to, support us.”

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in their community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work this Christmas visit www.alone.ie

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE 

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

Warm the heart of an older neighbour this winter

PRESS RELEASE

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

Repro Free: Dublin, 5th December 2018 Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside the newly opened Butlers Chocolate Café, on Dawson Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade, is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter. To support the initiative, Butlers Chocolates Café is distributing 500 hot drink vouchers to encourage people to bring an elderly neighbour out for a chat and a cup of tea to any of their Dublin cafés. Pictured are: Gráinne Kenny, aged 81, ALONE service-use with John Burke, aged 77, ALONE service-user and Kevin Mann, aged 71, ALONE service-user. Picture Jason Clarke

Dublin, 5th December 2018  The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside the newly opened Butlers Chocolate Café, 51 Dawson Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade, is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter. Butlers Chocolates is also supporting the cold weather initiative by giving away 500 hot beverage vouchers for their network of Chocolate Cafés throughout Dublin.

Lord Mayor Nial Ring said, “The colder, dark winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable and may be feeling isolated. We are appealing to all Dubliners to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone, have no family or may be at risk of suffering from fuel poverty, illness or loneliness. This campaign hopes to brighten the winter experience of many older people this year, who often face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication, with even a friendly word, a friendly smile or a friendy call. I know Dubliners will respond with our usual kindness, compassion and goodness.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Cold temperatures can have a serious impact on the lives and health of older people, particularly those living alone and those with limited mobility. This year, we want older people to remember to keep the HEAT on: have enough fuel supplies to keep your home warm, eat hot meals regularly, ask for help if you need it, and take extra care in icy and slippery conditions. We hope that by spreading this message, more older people will stay safe and well this winter.”

Moynihan continued, “We would encourage anyone concerned about their own wellbeing to reach out for assistance from ALONE if needed. TILDA have reported that around 1 in 4 older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or moisture. We want people to know that ALONE can help with any winter problems they may have, from housing conditions to loneliness.”

Michelle McBride, Retail Director of Butlers Chocolates said, “We are delighted to assist Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign this year in any way that we can. To support today’s launch, Butlers are distributing 500 hot beverage vouchers to encourage people to reach out to an elderly neighbour and bring them along to a Butlers Chocolate Café in Dublin for a chat over a warming cup of coffee!”

ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritize their spending on heating during the winter months. For those who are struggling to keep up with utilities bills, you can contact your utilities company to set up a payment plan. ALONE has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, or medication. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on 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.

The campaign is part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to an Age-Friendly City.

 

 

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

 

*Photos will be issued to your photodesks by Jason Clarke Photography*

Have a Laugh for Loneliness with ALONE this Christmas

PRESS RELEASE

Katherine Lynch is asking the public to reach out and have a laugh with older people
spending Christmas alone

 Dublin, 27th November 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, today launched their Christmas campaign which asks individuals to reach out to older people who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation and to Have a Laugh for Loneliness. Comedienne Katherine Lynch launched the charity’s Christmas initiative today and urged members of the public to donate to ALONE and to offer friendship and support to those who are lonely or living alone.

The campaign encourages families, friends, and communities to get together this winter to hold a bake sale, a coffee morning or another social event to raise funds for ALONE and combat loneliness in their community. The charity are also asking that the public make their Christmas donation to ALONE to help support the over 100,000 older people who are lonely in Ireland.

Katherine Lynch commented at the launch in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, “I’m so excited to help ALONE launch their Christmas campaign this year. I’ve long been an admirer of their work and delighted to be a part of such a positive message. Loneliness and isolation can be serious problems for older people and dropping in for a cup of tea or helping a neighbour with their shopping could make all the difference to their week.”

She continued, “What we all need, no matter our age, is a good laugh. And there’s really no better reason than Christmas to drop in to your older neighbour or relatives and catch up! We’re all busier than ever and it’s important to take the time to check on the people around us, whether someone needs some help or just your company.”

ALONE provides direct, frontline services to people aged 60 years and over, through befriending, support coordination, housing and BConnect assistive technology. With the effects of loneliness on older people including increased risk of dementia, depression and cognitive decline, ALONE wants every older person to know that support is available to them.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Over the winter period, calls for support dramatically increase and loneliness is one of the most common issues facing older people. Many older people think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. ALONE want them to know that they deserve the help they require and should not be afraid to ask for it.”

Moynihan continued, “We are asking members of the public to support ALONE by making a donation to support our services, donating their time to older people experiencing loneliness, or referring an older person who might use our services. These small acts of kindness can have an immensely positive impact on an older person’s well-being and can offer a real sense of security and comfort.”

Supporting the launch, Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, President of The Irish Gerontological Society, said that “Loneliness is every bit as harmful to your health as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, high blood pressure and obesity. We all have it in our power to help out with people who are lonely. We can beat loneliness one conversation at a time. Everyone needs a friend, so be that friend and befriend a neighbour this Christmas.”

ALONE’s activities over Christmas will include Christmas dinner dances for older people and volunteers, the delivery of hampers and Christmas trees to older people in need and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for a number of older people.

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in their community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work this Christmastime 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

 

One in Three Older people in Ireland Live Alone: SuperValu Encourages More Time for Chat as it Supports ALONE in Tackling Loneliness in Communities this Christmas

15/11/18 ***NO REPRO FEE*** SuperValu Encourages More Time for Chat as it Supports ALONE in Tackling Loneliness in Communities this Christmas
Pictured are Joan Kelly, Peter Brown and Pat Hussey, ALONE beneficiaries alongside Kevin Dundon and former RTE newsreader Anne Doyle as SuperValu call on the nation to Consider Taking Time to Catch up with someone in their community who maybe lonely this festive season.Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Thursday, November 15th, 2018: Christmas can be a very lonely time for many, so SuperValu is set to help address this by supporting ALONE and raise funds to support people who are suffering from loneliness this Christmas. With statistics indicating that there will be over 300,000 people over the age of 65 living alone in Ireland by 2021, there has never been a greater need for action.  SuperValu through a range of fundraising initiatives will amplify the issue of loneliness this Christmas and highlight the importance to reach out to both young and old in the community.

With SuperValu at the heart of 217 communities, this year they are asking their shoppers to Consider Taking Time to Catch up with someone in their community who may be lonely this festive season and drop around to have a chat and cuppa along with a mince pie. A 0.20c donation from all packs of Signature Taste mince pies will go to ALONE. Retailers around the country will also be hosting local coffee and mince pie mornings and wine and cheese evenings on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th of November to raise further funds and awareness for the charity.

SuperValu will also open its special All Things Considered Christmas Café on 41 South William St for two days from the 23rd – 24th November from 10am to 8pm. Bring a friend along and enjoy some festive treats, choosing from a menu of Christmas favourites from the Specially Sourced wine range, SuperValu Christmas cakes and sandwiches and Signatures Tastes meats and cheese platters with proceeds from the menu going to ALONE.

Speaking about the Christmas Campaign, ALONE CEO Sean Moynihan said. ‘At ALONE, our mission is to support older people to age at home. We provide friendship, support, and housing to ensure that older people can live independently at home without suffering from loneliness.  Most people aren’t aware of the severe impact loneliness can have on a both physical and mental health. We are delighted to be working with SuperValu on this campaign which highlights the real need for people to consider older people in their community, particularly around Christmas time. Their support with this campaign and across their retailer network helps us to continue the great and vital work that our organisation does.’

Des O’Mahony, SuperValu Marketing Director said, ‘With the statistics on loneliness particularly stark in Ireland there has never been a greater need for action.  SuperValu stores are at the heart of every community across Ireland and we play a pivotal role in providing not just a shop but a place to go to every day to see a friendly face for many elderly people. Coupled with our online delivery service, our retailers are supporting the elderly in every which way we can in communities.  This Christmas, we want to do more and our partnership with ALONE means that we can use our unique position to inspire people to consider time to catch up with someone that they may not have seen for some time and help us raise funds for ALONE to combat loneliness for many elderly people at this time of year.’

 

Share your Christmas catch up on Facebook.com/SuperValuIreland, on Twitter @SuperValuIRL and on Instagram @supervalu_Irl.

Ends

Irish statistics on loneliness:

  • Older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. [1]
    • People who reported feeling lonely have 64% greater risk of developing dementia in old age than those who did not feel lonely. [1]
    • Loneliness can be worse for us than well known risk factors such as obesity.[2]
    • Lonely people suffer disproportionately with mental health issues,[3] cognitive decline, hypertension, and are more likely to be admitted for residential or nursing care. [4]
    • Loneliness affects recovery from stroke and the frequency of emergency hospitalisations as well as causing depression and stress. [5]
  • For further information contact ALONE on 01 6791032

    [1] Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). Loneliness and risk of Alzheimer disease. Wilson RS, Krueger KR, Arnold SE, Schneider JA, Kelly JF, Barnes LL, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry (2007); 64, pp.234-240

    [2] Christina R. Victora & Ann Bowling, A Longitudinal  Analysis of Loneliness Among Older People in Great  Britain, The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary  and Applied Volume 146, Issue 3, 2012.

    [3] Cacioppo JT, Hughes ME, Waite LJ, Hawkley LC, Thisted RA. Loneliness as a specific risk factor for depressive symptoms: cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. Psychol Aging 2006;21,pp140-51.

    [4] Russell DW, Cutrona CE, de la Mora A, Wallace RB. Loneliness and nursing home admission among rural older adults. Psychol Aging 1997(4) pp.574-89.

    [5] CARDI: Loneliness and physical health, (2012), http://www.cardi.ie/userfiles/May%20Loneliness.pdf

[1] Ye Lou, Hawkley LC, Waite LJ et al. Loneliness, health and mortality in old age: A national longitudinal study. Soc Sci Med 2012; 74,pp. 907-914

Brendan O’Carroll asks public to ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ in aid of ALONE

PRESS RELEASE

 Charity initiative hopes to support befriending and outreach across Ireland

Dublin, 29th October 2018  Comedian and actor, Brendan O’Carroll, and his wife and co-star, Jenny Gibney, are calling on the public to ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ in aid of ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home. The campaign encourages people to host social events for family, friends and neighbours, to raise funds to support ALONE’s services.

A major element of ALONE’s support is the charity’s befriending service. This pairs older people, who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation, with trained volunteers who can offer help with practical tasks and most importantly, offer friendship.

As part of the ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ initiative, ALONE is encouraging members of the public to host social events and to have a laugh to raise funds for these crucial services while combating loneliness in their own community. This week, the charity published its 2017 Annual Report which cited a 100% increase in the number of older people using ALONE’s services since 2016. In comparison, ALONE’s donations increased by just 15% during this time.

Speaking at the launch, Brendan O’Carroll, said, “It’s fantastic to be a part of ALONE’s ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ campaign. It’s awful to think that as many as 1 in 10 older people experience chronic loneliness. ALONE’s work to combat this is extremely valuable and the difference it makes in the lives of older people is powerful. We’re hoping that by having a laugh for loneliness, the public will not only raise funds for ALONE but help to combat loneliness in their community.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO OF ALONE, said, “The fact is that loneliness can shorten your life. Thousands of older people across the country struggle with loneliness every day. ALONE is delighted to have Brendan and Jenny on board to launch this campaign, which we hope will help us to support more of those people. Receiving a regular call or visit from ALONE offering friendship and support is a simple thing which can make a huge difference to older people. “

He continued, “Our volunteers are invaluable to ALONE’s Befriending work and we’re constantly looking to recruit and train more people in order to keep up with the calls we receive. Through the ‘Have a Laugh with Loneliness’ campaign, we hope to raise vital funds for the service which saw our 1,000th volunteer trained this year. With the support of the public, we are working so that no older person is left lonely, without friendship and support.”

For more information on ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ please visit www.alone.ie.

 

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITOR 

 

ALONE 2017 Annual Report Statistics

  • Doubled the number of people using ALONE services since 2016.
  • ALONE’s staff supported 1,900 older people with issues such as housing, finance and loneliness
  • 9 new tenants and 6 people from emergency cases and homelessness received accommodation in ALONE housing
  • €120,000 was invested to support the growth of other befriending organisations and provide them with training and technology
  • 1,300 hours of volunteer maintenance was donated through 15 corporate volunteer days

ALONE doubles number of older people supported and volunteers, as donations rise just 15%

ALONE’s 2017 Annual Report can be viewed here: Annual_Report_2017

 

Dublin, 23rd October 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, launched its Annual Report today which showed a 100% increase in both the number of older people availing of ALONE services and the number of volunteers since 2016.

In comparison, only a 15% increase in donations has been reported during the same period.

The number of people supported by ALONE’s services to cope with loneliness, poverty, housing difficulties and other issues doubled in 2017 to 1,903. The charity offers help to older people through Support work, Befriending, Housing and BConnect assistive technology.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “ALONE achieved a great deal during 2017 and we’re proud to have supported twice as many older people. However, the demand for our services is a cause for concern and we expect the number of people we support to double yet again in 2018.”

“As a country, we are facing an ageing demographic and ALONE and other agencies are providing essential supports. Many more older people will be experiencing issues such as loneliness or homelessness in the coming years. We need support from the public to increase so that we can continue to meet the demand,” he said.

The sizable growth in the demand for ALONE’s services echoes Ireland’s rapidly changing demographic and the difficulties that continue to be faced by older people across the country. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, the need for services to support older people will only grow, highlighting the urgency to develop government supports.

Other key findings in the 2017 ALONE Annual Report include:

  • More than 750 volunteers dedicated their time to ALONE by befriending older people, working in administration, helping with events and in other areas of ALONE’s work
  • Nearly 700 people were supported by the ALONE Befriending Service
  • ALONE’s staff supported 1,146 older people with issues such as housing, finance and loneliness
  • 9 new tenants and 6 people from emergency cases and homelessness received accommodation in ALONE housing
  • €120,000 was invested to support the growth of other befriending organisations and provide them with training and technology
  • 1,300 hours of volunteer maintenance was donated through 15 corporate volunteer days

He continued, “This year we were the national winner of the HSE Excellence in Healthcare Award. This was thanks to our volunteers, staff, agencies, the HSE and local communities all working together to improve the quality of life for older people. Our vision is for every older person to have the opportunity to age happily and securely at home. As we continue to grow ALONE supports nationwide, including innovations such as BConnect, we look forward to collaborating with other charities and the government to ensure that the needs of older people are met.”

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.

 

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 encourage public to check in on older neighbours as orange weather warning issued

PRESS RELEASE

 Dublin, 11th October 2018  ALONE, the charity which supports older people, is urging older people to take extra care following the status orange weather warnings by Met Éireann as Storm Callum is expected to hit Ireland later today. Strong winds of 130km/h and coastal flooding are expected in parts of the country.

Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions due to the increased risk of falls and injury. More than one in five older people live alone, while one in ten older people are frail. Older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

ALONE is calling on family, friends and neighbours to check on older people in their community 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 strong winds to call for assistance and help if needed.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status orange weather warnings from Met Éireann, we are calling on members of the public in the affected areas to remember their older relatives and neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to stay indoors where possible once the storm arrives.”

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

Those who have concerns for an older person, or older people in need of assistance can contact ALONE on (01) 679 1032. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff 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.

 

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

 

 

This World Mental Health Day, ALONE encourages older people to reach out

PRESS RELEASE

 

Dublin, 10th October 2018  This World Mental Health Day on 10th October, ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is urging older people to reach out and talk if they are in need of support surrounding loneliness and mental health.

The charity is highlighting the importance of maintaining mental health into older age and encouraging those who struggle with mental health to help to break the stigma which still surrounds it, urging them to ‘Make today the day you reach out’.

One in 10 older people suffer from chronic loneliness, and 1 in 20 older people have suffered a depressive episode.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “It is vitally important that mental health is seen as an important factor in maintaining the health of older people. This World Mental Health Day we are encouraging older people to lift the phone or speak to someone if they are struggling with loneliness or other mental health issues. Although we have made a lot of progress in fighting the stigma against mental health and loneliness, we have found that many older people are still apprehensive about admitting they may be feeling lonely or have a mental health problem.”

He continued, “Loneliness is an essential predictor of depression in older people. Evidence highlights that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. Loneliness can cause depression, stress and other illnesses. A regular phone call or visit from ALONE offering friendship and support can have a substantial lifting effect. 20% of people who come to ALONE are self-referred and we hope that people will continue to pick up the phone and make the call.”

Moynihan, who spoke yesterday at the Campaign to End Loneliness Conference in the UK about loneliness in Ireland, also welcomed the additional funding to mental health in yesterday’s Budget. “We welcomed the additional funding to mental health funding in yesterday’s budget. However, we hope that some of this funding will be ringfenced for combating loneliness. As our population ages, it is vital to put structures in place which will enable people to age happily and securely.”

Don Smith, who was befriended by ALONE, described how being befriended by ALONE helped him to overcome loneliness: “Loneliness is what happens when you stop living your life to the full and become an observer. It can be brought on by retirement, sickness, bereavement or accident. The good news is that it can be overcome! A single phone call to a friendly voice can change your life,” he said.

ALONE recently supported LGBT Ireland with its launch of the National Helpline Poster Campaign for older people, with Eilish O’Carroll, actress who plays Winnie McGoogan from Mrs Brown’s Boys, launching the campaign. The poster campaign aims to raise awareness of their helpline and support services available to older LGBT people and also aims to raise visibility of older LGBT people with mainstream services.

This World Mental Health Day, ALONE encourage any older person looking for a Befriending Service in their area to get in touch and call 01 679 1032. Similarly, if there are any befriending organisations looking for advice and support they can contact ALONE.

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

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 call for focused Government support of older people as Budget 2019 is released

PRESS RELEASE

Charity for older people responds to Budget 2019

Dublin, 9th October 2018 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the increase to the state pension announced this afternoon as part of Budget 2019, but has stated that further government action is needed to support Ireland’s older people.

Following today’s Budget 2019 announcement, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “Today’s Budget shows some promise for older people. However, it does not go far enough, particularly concerning housing and homecare issues.”

Moynihan continued, “While we welcome the €5 increase to the pension, this is below the National Pensions Framework target of 35% of average earnings, which would require a €13 increase to the state pension. For pensioners living alone in rural areas, the income from a contributory pension will only meet the cost of 85% of their expenses. We had hoped that this year’s budget would reach the halfway point of an increase of €6.50 and are disappointed to note the increase is delayed until March 2019.”

In terms of social benefits announced for older people, Moynihan commented, “The restoration of the Christmas bonus will be a welcome relief for many older people in the run-up to the holidays. The extension of the fuel allowance to 28 weeks is also encouraging, but as one in ten older people are unable to keep their home adequately warm, we believe that this should have been restored to 32 weeks. Similarly, the Living Alone allowance directly impacts the living conditions of older people across the country and we had hoped that an increase to €14 per week might be introduced.“

In response to 50c reduction in prescription charges for over-70’s and updated health care costs, Seán Moynihan commented, “The reduction is a move in the right direction as the prescription charge has had serious health implications for older people over the last number of years. Likewise, the reduced threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme by €10 and the increase of income thresholds by €25 for GP visit cards will hopefully lighten the financial burden when an older person’s health requires attention.”

Despite much discussion over the past number of days, the ‘granny-flat grant’ was not included in Budget 2019. The rejection of this project has been supported by ALONE, who expressed concern over the practicalities of the scheme.

Considering measures to combat the housing crisis, Seán Moynihan said, “The focus should be on providing housing with supports for older people and further funding to the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme, in order to prevent a larger crisis to come. The increase in funding for Housing Adaptation Grants to €57million, from €53 million, will enable up to 11,800 adaptations to better facilitate older people to age in their own homes.”

Moynihan said, “ALONE has conducted a robust assessment into housing solutions for older people and strongly recommend the development of housing choices inspired by the life-cycle. Our suggestions are fully outlined in our housing report ‘Housing Options for Older People in Ireland – Time for Action’, which we hope will influence the housing investment announced by the Minister for Finance today.”

While an increased homecarers credit of €300 to €1,500 per year was welcomed, ALONE are disappointed that no increase to homecare was included in Budget 2019. This follows a pre-budget submission by the charity calling for an increase of €102 million in Home Support Hours.

The charity also welcomed the government’s investment of €84 million to mental health funding. Having established the Loneliness Taskforce in collaboration with Senator Keith Swanick earlier this year, the charity is working to highlight the impact loneliness can have towards the health and well-bring of older people throughout Ireland. The Loneliness Taskforce is calling for €3 million of this new funding to be assigned to loneliness and social isolation.

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