ALONE urges Government to begin their plans towards a re-emergence programme for older and medically vulnerable groups
The organisation is disappointed at the lack of planning towards older people in the Government’s announcement
Dublin, 31 March 2021 In light of yesterday’s Government announcement, ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, has expressed disappointment at the continued lack of reference to older people in Government plans for reopening the country. The organisation would like to work together with Government to formulate a programme that will aid and guide older people in breaking their period of social isolation as the country begins to emerge from COVID-19, while establishing a stakeholder group for Older Adults in order to protect vulnerable individuals and groups in society.
The organisation has previously emphasised the need for a plan for older adults to be established as Ireland navigates through the Government’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Plan for 2021, and is calling on Government to start developing a re-emergence programme for older people and socially and medically vulnerable groups immediately.
ALONE have reported that most of the recent vaccine-related calls to their National Support Line are from older people who have received their first vaccination and want to know when they can safely return to society and get out into their communities. The organisation has noted that older people who are now calling ALONE about COVID-19 are enthusiastic about receiving the vaccine and are looking towards a brighter future when the threat of the virus subsides.
Older people have been dealing with the repercussions of social isolation for over one year now, 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. It is clear that 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.
“We hope to aid in establishing a stakeholder group in order to advocate for older adults, throughout and beyond the vaccination process. A stakeholder group would help us to address the issues arising as older people and more vulnerable individuals begin to re-emerge into society and as we navigate this ‘new normal’. We believe that such a group is essential to provide supports for older people both now and when things begin to return to normality”
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.