ALONE calls on public to visit older people this Friendship Week 13th-17th February

Dublin, 13th February 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is highlighting the importance of their Befriending Service during Friendship Week 2017 (13th-17th February). ALONE believes that Befriending can act as a preventative health measure in tackling the effects of loneliness among older people.

In Ireland, one third of older people over 65 live alone and 60% of people aged over 80 live alone. In recent years, a wide range of studies have shown that isolation and loneliness affect the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of an individual. With the number of over-65s living in Ireland expected to increase to 1.4 million by 2046, ALONE is reminding the general public to extend the hand of friendship to the older members of their communities this Friendship Week.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “It is vitally important that as we age we maintain strong links with our local community. Older people need good services of a consistent quality, to ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks and become isolated from other people”.

ALONE’s Befriending Service provides companionship to over 500 older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. ALONE are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured Befriending Service.

Sean Moynihan commented, “As an organisation that works with older people, we see firsthand the effects of loneliness. I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. Not only can loneliness lead to depression, but it is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system responsiveness. Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

He continued “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 support and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.”

Befriending Network Ireland, led by ALONE, is a national network of Befriending Services for vulnerable and older people that aims are to provide training, quality, transparency as well as a national voice for befriending. ALONE is the only Befriending Service in the country to have a quality award and are passionate about ensuring quality across Befriending Services.

Moynihan concluded, “This Friendship Week, we implore older people who are feeling isolated to reach out to Befriending Network Ireland or someone in their own community for help. We’re also asking the public to set aside 10 minutes to call in on any older persons they think may benefit from seeing a friendly face. It could be the highlight of someone’s week.”

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

Dublin, 6th December 2016  ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has today launched a video showing the positive impact of befriending for older people. In the video a number of older people, who avail of ALONE’s Befriending Service, thank their volunteers who have made a huge difference to their lives.

 

Check out ALONE’s Thank You Video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQzblWU0qxw

 

In Ireland, one third of older people live alone. ALONE’s Befriending Services provides companionship to over 500 older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. ALONE are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured befriending service.

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We have created this video to thank the hundreds of volunteers in ALONE who offer the Befriending Service to older people every week. This video shows what a difference a little friendship that make to the lives of older people who are living alone – their volunteers have become close friends and are a lifeline to them in times of need.”

 

He continued, “As an organisation that works with older people, we interact first hand with the effects of loneliness every day. I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. Not only can loneliness lead to depression, but it is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system responsivity. Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

 

He concluded, “ALONE’s Befriending Service is a preventative health measure. We receive no day-to-day government funding for our services so we depend on donations. We hope that this video encourages the general public to offer their help and support to older people by donating to ALONE this Christmas.”

 

At Christmas, ALONE’s activities include; the organisation of 500 volunteers who visit older people each week, a Christmas dinner dance for older people and volunteers, the delivery of 500 Christmas hampers to older people in need and a special Christmas Day dinner delivery for 100 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/donate .

ALONE – Show an older person you care this Christmas

Dublin, 23rd November 2016 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, today launched their Christmas campaign highlighting the isolation and loneliness of older people around Christmastime. At the launch of the campaign Anne Doyle, one of Ireland’s best loved broadcasters, urged members of the public to reach out to the older members of their community this Christmas and offer support to those who are living alone.

 

Anne Doyle commented at the launch, “I have been an admirer of the work of ALONE for many years and I am delighted to help them launch their Christmas campaign this year. Loneliness and isolation can be real problems for older people and it’s important that we are all aware of this.”

 

She continued “Today, with our hectic lifestyles, many of us know little or nothing about our neighbours. ALONE are asking people to check on their older neighbours, they may need something, even if it’s only 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. This Christmas let’s show them someone cares.”

 

As part of this year’s Christmas Campaign, ALONE is also urging older people not to be afraid to ask for the care and support they deserve and are entitled to.

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE’s Christmas Campaign this year is not just about charity, it’s about rights. Older people not only deserve to live with dignity but they have a right to. We want them to know that they have a right to be supported, to receive the care they need and to live in a place of their own choosing.”

 

He continued, “Over the winter period calls for support dramatically increase and loneliness is one of the main issues that older people face. 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 support and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. For those who may feel that they have no one to ask for help, ALONE offers supports and services that can link older people back in with their community and neighbours.”

 

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 300 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.

 

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

ALONE comments on growing Emergency Departments crisis

emergency

ALONE comments on Crisis in Emergency Departments

”The provision of quality health care for older people is a right and a necessity”

Dublin, 21st January 2016 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is asking the government to prioritise home care packages and community health care services for older people. In light of the recent resurgence of the A&E crisis ALONE are championing a nationwide plan to help reduce the high number of older people attending emergency departments.

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan said, “Hospitals are currently seeing a high volume of people attending their emergency departments making it difficult to maintain a quality level of care. Often, older people are ending up in hospital unnecessarily, and we believe that this is due to a lack of support for older people in the community. ALONE are working to fill this gap and provide services that will support older people to age at home by investing €1 million nationally and we are calling on the government to support us in this.”

“In Ireland, we have a rapidly aging population and this naturally puts more pressure on the health system. As people get older they succumb to a range of chronic illnesses which require close monitoring and management. We should also note that there are 170,000 older Irish people living alone, which makes them vulnerable to isolation and ill health. This risk increases in winter when the nights are darker and the days are colder,” said Moynihan.

Moynihan continued, “ALONE have long been campaigning for better and more coordinated services at a local level, we believe that the current crisis in the A&E departments is a direct consequence of our government’s failure to address the lack of services in the community for older people. Latest figures from September’s HSE performance report show that there were 864 over 75’s waiting on trolleys for over 24hours with a further 609 delayed discharges, with older persons trapped in hospital due to lack of services.”

“In our pre election submission to all parties we called for the development of a national infrastructure of support for older people. We have also called for immediate action on planning for the housing needs for older people, by looking at various international models that have proven successful. Both these initiatives will take huge pressure off the health system, and cost a fraction of the amount wasted on short term solutions to address acute hospital and nursing home beds.”

Moynihan concluded, “Healthcare for our ageing population should be a major priority for the next government. If older people are supported at home and in the community, they are less dependent on hospital services. The provision of quality health care for older people is a right and a necessity.”

ALONE provides Support Coordination to older people across the country to age at home. They also provide a befriending service to older people who are isolated, along with providing supportive housing to over 100 older people.

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.