ALONE announce national support line and additional supports and
outreach for older people
Dublin, 8 March 2020: ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has announced the launch of a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland.
On Tuesday 3
March, the National Public Health Emergency, chaired by Dr Tony Holohan, Chief
Medical Officer in the Department of Health, announced the establishment of a
Vulnerable People Subgroup.
As a member
organisation of the National Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Subgroup for
Vulnerable People, ALONE is working in collaboration with the Department of
Health and the HSE on a coordinated national response to support older people
who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19.
offered include a new national support line launching tomorrow, Monday 9 March,
and additional outreach and coordinated support. This support line is to
complement the clinical advice and information being provided by the HSE
through its website and helpline.
staff will be available to answer queries regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and
give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line will be open
Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024, and hours may be extended
to meet the demand.
Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “The WHO advises us to be SMART and inform
ourselves about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and to be kind and support one another.
This support line provides additional information supports for older people who
may have concerns or support needs; it is led by our voluntary sector who
provide invaluable work with communities; and is working as part of our
co-ordinated national response to COVID-19.”
“We are ramping up our response to COVID-19 to provide support to
all older people nationwide working in collaboration with the Department of
Health and the HSE,” he continued.
“As the situation develops, as well as advice, information and
emotional supports, we will ensure every older person will have access to food,
medication, fuel, daily contact, and any other support that may be needed. We
want to emphasise that these supports are free, and available to all older
people, including those who have not previously used our services.
“Should any older person need any advice or practical support, we
encourage them to call us on 0818 222 024. We are also collaborating on our
response with more than 100 other organisations in the community and voluntary
sector working with older people, providing them with support where necessary,
to create a surge in capacity and ensure a comprehensive and robust response.
As the situation develops we may need to call on civic organisations to support
“Our message is clear, ALONE and its partner organisations are providing additional information and supports, however where older people consider that they have COVID-19 (Coronavirus) symptoms and meet the criteria set out by the HSE their first point of contact should be to phone a doctor in line with HSE advice.”
continued: “At the moment the risk of contracting Coronavirus is low to
moderate. In line with HSE advice older people should continue to carry out
their daily activities as normal while taking the appropriate preventative
measures, including regular washing of hands and practicing cough etiquette.”
2,000 volunteers who provide visitation and telephone Support and Befriending,
and professional staff who offer coordinated supports to older people
experiencing loneliness, financial and housing difficulties, and any other
challenges they may face. 45% of the older people ALONE supports are over the
age of 80.
ALONE advises that older people
practice the following protective measures as outlined by the HSE:
· Wash your
hands regularly with soap and water.
at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is
touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
cough and sneeze hygiene – covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or
tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately.
· Stay informed: keep up to date on latest Covid-19
information on www.hse.ie.
outbreak of COVID-19 will pose additional challenges for older people who may
already be vulnerable and particularly those who struggle with health
difficulties, loneliness, and other issues,” concluded Moynihan. “To the
friends and family of older people who may have concerns, we are encouraging
them to continue to support older people in the community as they have always
done, while ensuring they are taking the same protective measures.”
Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns
about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Further
information can be found on www.alone.ie.