ALONE highlight isolation and loneliness this holiday season
Dublin, 25th November ALONE have today launched their Christmas campaign highlighting the isolation and loneliness of older people around Christmastime. At the launch of the campaign ALONE, joined by Jedward, called on the public to “share your presence” with anyone who may be isolated or lonely this holiday season.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “We find that calls for support dramatically increase over the winter period and loneliness is one of the main issues that people come to us for support with. Christmas can be a particularly isolating time for older people who have no loved ones to share it with. We can all be guilty of getting caught up in the rush to buy presents, but for a lonely older person, the most precious gift you can give is gift of your time.”
Moynihan continued, “Some of the older people we work with might not see anyone from one week to the next. With our hectic lifestyles, many people nowadays know little or nothing about their neighbours. We would ask that if you haven’t seen your neighbour in a few days, knock in, see if they need anything, or just give them your company and your time. If an older person knows someone is looking out for them it gives them an enormous sense of security and comfort. We know that the older people we work with look forward to their volunteer visiting all week and it keeps them going. The gift of time cannot be underestimated.“
Moynihan concluded, “Thankfully most older people will enjoy a happy Christmas surrounded by family and friends but ALONE is asking you to think of those older people who are living alone and may be lonely. One in three older people in Ireland live on their own, and studies have shown that loneliness can make a person twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s. If you are concerned for anyone in particular you can contact ALONE for advice and support.”
Jedward, ALONE’s Christmas Ambassadors commented, “We are so excited to help ALONE launch their Christmas campaign this year. We think that it’s a really important cause and that everyone should take some time to look out for older people in their community. We encourage everyone to spread the Christmas cheer by sharing your presence, which is the most important gift of all”.
ALONE say that there are a number of ways that the public can help an older person this Christmas some of these are; calling by an older persons house to say hello, ensuring they have enough food, medication and heat, bringing them out for a drive or to a social event and giving them a hand with their shopping.
At Christmas, ALONE’s activities include; the organisation of 250 volunteers who visit older people each week, a Christmas dinner dance for older people and volunteers, the delivery of hundreds of Christmas hampers to older people in need and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for a number of older people.