World Health Day takes place today, Wednesday 7th of April
Dublin, 7 April 2021 This year on World Health Day, Wednesday 7th April, ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is calling on Government leaders to ensure that everyone has access to services and living conditions that are conducive to good health in order to build a fairer, healthier world. The organisation is also urging leaders to monitor and address health inequalities present in society, and to ensure that quality health services are accessible to all, where and when they are needed.
ALONE has stated that there are a range of factors which contribute to health inequalities for older people in Ireland, such as insufficient finances, inappropriate living conditions, lack of necessary supports, long waiting lists and difficulties in accessing appropriate health services. The organisation believes that existing health inequities have been further highlighted by the outbreak of COVID-19, particularly when it comes to older people who have been cocooning to protect themselves from the virus.
ALONE is urging Government address these issues in order to bridge these gaps and create an equal standard of health for all citizens, beginning by giving older people more choices when it comes to their health, promoting access to quality health services and enabling and empowering them to age at home safely and securely.
ALONE believes that older people have a right to Home Care, which would enable them to age at home as they choose, and has highlighted the Housing with Supports model as a key to helping older people age at home as they wish, by providing grants for Housing Adaptations and important funding towards improved facilities for older people.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “COVID-19 has hit everyone hard, but its impact has been harshest on those who were already vulnerable, such as many older people. Many of those at risk have had to drastically change their everyday lives in order protect themselves from exposure to the virus, leading to negative impacts on both mental and physical health. This is why we are calling on our Government to ensure that everyone is adequately equipped to maintain good health, by ensuring there is an equitable standard of health services available to all.”
He continued, “We endorse health care to be provided to older people with the support and assistance they need while allowing them to remain in their own homes and retain their own autonomy, which is now more important than ever following issues raised around Nursing Homes in the last twelve months. We believe that older people deserve a choice in how and where they age, and that this contributes immensely to their overall health and wellbeing. Ireland has an aging population and our health, housing and transport services need to be adapted to ensure access for all of those in need. Housing with onsite technology, social prescription and the implementation of Sláintecare will be central to ensuring we have fairer and healthier communities.”
ALONE continue to campaign to improve quality of life by advocating for improved social policies for older people. The organisation’s Service Hub model seeks to collaborate with Local Authorities, Community Groups, NGO’s and acute and primary services to help older people integrate into their local communities. The organisation has stated that the activation of the community is essential to maintaining good mental and physical health to empower older people and support them when needed.
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.