The organisation is also reminding the public to check in on older neighbours as weather takes a colder turn.
ALONE is urging older people to take extra care and keep themselves and their homes warm and well as temperatures begin to drop in the coming days.
Met Éireann has issued a winter weather advisory warning ahead of a period of cold weather. Met Éireann predict that there will be severe frosts and icy roads and showers of hail, sleet and snow in some areas in the coming days.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a drop in temperatures and a frost risk, we are advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication and food at home. Many older people are often hesitant to reach out and ALONE want them to know that they should not be afraid to ask for support if needed.”
ALONE has encouraged older people to stay safe and be cautious of falls by limiting walking outdoors during icy conditions, wearing well fitted shoes, and ensuring that floors and ground surfaces in their homes are clear and free of trip hazards.
“Keeping warm during cold weather is not just an issue of comfort, but a health issue for older people and people with health difficulties,” he continued. “We know that cold homes are associated with health conditions worsening. These health conditions include respiratory and heart conditions, arthritis, minor illnesses like colds and flus, increased risk of accidents and injuries, and poor mental health. While we know energy costs are high, we and other organisations will provide to support to older people who may be concerned about their bills this winter, and we would urge that everyone stays warm and safe in the coming week. If you have concerns or need support, you can call ALONE on 0818 222 024, seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.”
ALONE is also calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need help with grocery shopping, collecting prescriptions or other practical tasks during the bad weather.
Moynihan continued, “We are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs; if there is anything you think you can help with, no matter how small, do reach out to them. It could make a world of difference to an older person during a challenging time.”
ALONE recently partnered with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications on its winter response plan and is working to keep all older people safe and warm this winter in the face of huge increases in energy costs. The partnership will focus on mobilising and coordinating a whole-of-community response to the cost-of-living crisis this winter.
Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in the community. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie .