50,000 calls received from Older People by ALONE

ALONE provides advice and support for older people, aiming to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing from the first point of contact

Dublin, 19th July 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, has received over 50,000 calls into their Service, which paves the way towards direct access to their integrated service model. ALONE has been supporting an increasing number of older people in need, through the COVID-19 pandemic with their National Support Line crucial in mobilising a rapid response in every county to make sure everyone is looked after. Their dedicated line acts as a gateway to their integrated service model and means that older people across the Country have one direct link for services, advice and information.

ALONE have supported 7,130 unique older people in 2021 alone, continuing to mark an increase in volume of older people seeking ongoing support. The organisation offer an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support and Assistive Technology. While 68% of callers to ALONE’s National Support Line are living alone, ALONE work with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty, or are facing other difficulties. Support requests from older people range anywhere from Financial/Legal, Personal Care, Housing, Support & Befriending or Technology and Safety/Security.

The National Support Line is the first point of access to our fully-integrated service model which assesses each individual on a case-by-case basis, which will enable older people to continue ageing at home. So far this year, ALONE have put 3,050support plans in place for those who have called with an issue in order to develop tailored solutions to each problem. The organisations individualised support plans, provide a point of contact for access to health, financial benefits and supports, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

ALONE have placed almost 100,000 calls to older people who have been linked in with their services this year to date. The total number of volunteers linked in with ALONE is over 3,000 who have cumulatively committed to 63,200 hours of volunteering in 2021.

ALONE’s Technology has been vital in assisting older people throughout the pandemic, where their team installed various devices for older people across the country in order to keep them connected, safe and secure. ALONE has enabled 455 new older people to use technology to age at home. Within the 352 Technology Support Plans put in place, 297 of these are devices that have been installed in older people’s homes.

Our integrated service:

“A 70-year-old woman called the National Support Line last May 2020, as she had recently moved back into her home house to care for her older mother. She was finding the change very tough so ALONE supplied information on Family Carers Ireland support. We set her up on Telephone Support & Befriending calls and she is currently waiting to be matched with Visitation Support & Befriending Volunteer.”

“An older gentleman called us in October 2020. He had no heating and wasn’t clear on what he needed to do with his local County Council. ALONE supported him and he was so thankful got his heating fixed and few other home repairs in time for Christmas.”

“An 80-year-old man called the National Support Line and referred himself via our website to receive Support & Befriending service as the feeling of social isolation and loneliness were making him experience feelings of depression. We matched him with a Visitation Support & Befriending volunteer in January 2021 and he is very thankful of the relationship formed through ALONE.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Our volunteers and staff have been working alongside older people for over forty years now, and our primary objective remains enabling older people to age safely and securely in their own homes. ALONE’s Services have continued to be a lifeline for older people across the country during dark times over the past year and we will continue this work until the threat of the pandemic has passed and beyond. Our National Support Line will continue to be the gateway to accessing our services and we endeavour to keep providing and expanding these services to accommodate for those who require them.

He continued, “We have accomplished so much across 2020 and 2021 but we will continue to work with older people who are struggling in order to provide assistance, support and reassurance. We must continue to protect our ageing population following the sacrifices that they have made in the past year and provide the necessary supports for older people both now and when things begin to return to normality.”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.