The organisation says that we all have a role in supporting and empowering the older people throughout Ireland as we emerge from social restrictions.
Dublin, 24th January 2022 As Ireland starts to experience life without lockdown, ALONE is asking everyone to continue to show care while respecting older and medically vulnerable people’s boundaries. There are a lot of people across the country today and in the near future that are unable to throw caution to wind as COVID-19 is still present and infecting people.
The organisation has continually emphasised the need for a plan for older adults to be established as Ireland navigates through the Government’s plan for living with COVID-19, and is calling on Government to start developing a re-emergence programme for older people and socially and medically vulnerable groups immediately.
The declining levels of physical activity amongst older people during the pandemic is of particular concern to ALONE. The organisation is also highlighting that although the Government has relaxed the majority of restrictions a lot of services and supports for older people are not fully operational and will take time to scale up to the levels needed.
ALONE has reported that calls to its National Support and Referral Line reflect an enthusiasm to return to normal but people are very wary that the virus is still around. Some of the older people ALONE work with have been in a constant state of social isolation for nearly two years now and are nervous at the pace of easing given the uncertainty of the pandemic and its variants.
Older people have been dealing with the repercussions of social isolation and still have a long-road ahead to rebuilding their confidence and reintegrating into society. ALONE’s primary concern is that they are adequately supported in their re-emergence with proper care and plans in place.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Now is the time to consider how we can best ensure older people’s safety as they begin to return to society. The pandemic will have detrimental physical and mental health effects on our older people as they have had to drastically change the way they live in order to shield themselves from the virus. We must be prepared to listen to their worries and doubts, assess the actions that need to be taken and devise strategies on the best ways to protect these groups.
It is up to all of us to support and empower older people to take a full part in our society post- pandemic. We must ensure to ask older people what they are comfortable with before we welcome ourselves into their homes or lives.”
Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support and Referral Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.