ALONE and Dublin City Council urge communities to reach out to older people this winter

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

Dublin, 2nd December 2019  Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul Mc Auliffe, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí, Dublin Fire Brigade, and StayWell Pharmacies is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

Lord Mayor Paul Mc Auliffe said, “The colder winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable and may be feeling isolated. We are appealing to all Dubliners and indeed people across the country to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone or be at risk of struggling with loneliness, health difficulties or fuel poverty.

This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year. I am confident that Dubliners will respond with our usual sense of kindness, compassion and goodness.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Colder temperatures can have a serious impact on the health and safety of older people, and Ireland has among the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe. We regularly work with older people who don’t have central heating, live in challenging housing conditions, and even people who have used their free travel and stayed on buses and trains during the day to keep warm. It’s really important that we reach out to people who may be finding things difficult due to ill health, financial worries, or housing difficulties. We hope that by spreading this message and by reaching out, more people will stay safe and well this winter.”

Moynihan continued, “According to reports by TILDA, around 1 in 10 older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or mildew. We encourage anyone who may be concerned about their own wellbeing or someone else’s to reach out for assistance from ALONE if needed. We want people to know that ALONE is here to help with any problems they may have this winter, from housing conditions to loneliness.”

ALONE have also partnered with StayWell pharmacies this winter. Anyone interested in supporting older people to stay warm in winter can donate new hot water bottles, blankets, gloves, slippers and more through donation boxes in nine StayWell pharmacies nationwide, which ALONE will distribute to older people who need them. Donations can be made directly to ALONE on www.alone/donate

ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the winter months. ALONE have staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, utilities or medication.

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

Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit www.alone.ie  

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