‘Addressing loneliness has become more important than ever’, says Taskforce

The Loneliness Taskforce recently reconvened with new membership as levels of loneliness almost doubles in one year alone

Dublin, 15th June 2021: The Loneliness Taskforce has today commented that addressing loneliness has become more important than ever before, with levels of loneliness almost doubling in one year alone. This week the loneliness Taskforce are talking about and encouraging conversation around experiencing loneliness. In doing so, they hope to combat the stigma and shame around loneliness and the impact it has on our wellbeing, all while making change for those experiencing it. In the years to come, the Loneliness Taskforce want to continue to use this week in June to destigmatise and talk about the effects of Loneliness.

The Loneliness Taskforce has also today announced a new and broader membership of the organisations working to address loneliness in Ireland.

Levels of loneliness have almost doubled in less than a year according to the CSO, increasing from 6.8% in April 2020 to 13.1% in February 2021. There have been significant and damaging impacts being experienced by groups most at risk, including older people, family carers, people with dementia, migrants and ethnic minorities and more.

Spokesperson for the group commented; “All of our organisations have seen the untold damage loneliness has done to people’s mental and physical health, all of which have been greatly exacerbated by COVID-19. The Taskforce will seek to continue to highlight the issue of loneliness and is currently working on producing recommendations to government which will address loneliness.

“As our membership has become much broader, the Taskforce is taking a ‘whole-of-population’ approach to loneliness. In recognising this, we believe that government must also take this approach as well, which is why the Loneliness Taskforce believes that the responsibility of loneliness lies with the Minister for Public Health.”

The Loneliness Taskforce members include;

ALONE, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, Prof Roger O’Sullivan, The Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Jigsaw, Mental Health Reform, Muintir Na Tíre, Prof Brian Lawlor, Samaritans Ireland, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, The National Women’s Council of Ireland.

About the Loneliness Taskforce

The Loneliness Taskforce is a coalition of organisations and individuals who work to address loneliness. The purpose of the Taskforce is to increase awareness of loneliness and to continually advocate for policy change to address loneliness at local and national level.

Our vision is an Ireland free from loneliness.

Minister Mary Butler launches new ALONE services in Tipperary and Waterford

The organisation are expanding their services in Munster 

Dublin, 14 June 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age safely and securely at home, has launched a series of new services today in the South of the country; The Good Morning South Tipperary service and the Waterford Contact Services project were launched today by Minister for Mental Health and Older people, Mary Butler, TD. Also present at the launch were ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan, and Barbara Murphy, Head of Older People Services, HSE South East Community Healthcare.

ALONE were approached by Liam Kelly in 2019 to take over the running of the Good Morning South Tipperary service and to offer further services to older people in Tipperary and further afield.  The service has been in operation for fourteen years and consists of weekly calls made to thirty older people by local volunteers from the Tigh na nDaoine Community Building in Newcastle.

The Waterford Contact Project is a support and befriending/visitation programme for older people in Waterford which has been in operation for twelve years. The project was originally founded by Mags Drohan of St Brigid’s Family and Community Centre and is an important service for older people in Waterford city and surrounding areas. The Project has a pool of volunteers who are available to visit older people in their own homes to provide social and practical support

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler was present to launch ALONE’s new services stating “I understand the range of complex issues faced by older people and I appreciate the work done by ALONE to reach out and support as many older people as possible across the country. ALONE have my full support with the roll out of the services being launched today. These services will further enhance opportunities for older people to remain connected to their local community and improve their day-to-day quality of life.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said at the launch, “We are delighted to be expanding our services and reach to older people in Munster with the help of our fantastic staff and volunteers. We look forward to seeing these services develop throughout Tipperary and Waterford we to build on the great work and existing community spirit in both locations. We will integrate these teams with our network of staff and volunteers across the country so we can empower and support older people to age at home.”

Moynihan continued, “As a country, we are facing an ageing demographic and ALONE are providing essential supports alongside other agencies. We need to ensure that there is consistency of services across both urban and rural areas. Many more older people will be experiencing issues such as loneliness, transport difficulties and housing challenges in the coming years and we hope that expanding our ground-level supports will help to make a positive impact on the lives of older people in Tipperary, Waterford and throughout the country.”

The Good Morning South Tipperary and Waterford Contact services have been funded by the HSE under section 39 grant funding. Barbara Murphy, Head of Older People Services, HSE South East Community Healthcare stated: “It is great to see the level of support we have received from local communities as ALONE launch their wonderful new services in Tipperary and Waterford. We look forward to working closely with ALONE to support older people in need and ensure that no one is left behind.”

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

“We are heading towards generation after generation experiencing preventable housing issues that are already worsening today.”

Meeting the Housing needs and alternative housing solutions for older people now, will help solve the current issues and future-proof our housing stock for everyone for tomorrow.

Dublin, 4 June 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today put forward nine recommendations in their submission for the new housing strategy being devised by the Department of Housing. By outlining their essential age inclusive additions, ALONE want to prevent the catastrophic effects the current housing situation on the existing older cohort and the ageing population that follows. 

ALONEurges the Minister for Housing and other members of government to listen and take direction from the organisation’s recommendations that outline solutions and plans to address Ireland’s housing crisis in the midst of a growing ageing population.

ALONE is calling for the following to be incorporated into the Housing for All strategy;

  1. That housing for all to be a long term strategy to build the types of housing needed in every county based on demographics all age groups and locations. The aim should be to meet the demand now doing that in a way that future proofs use for our needs in 10-20 years.
  2. ALONE is calling for a funding mechanism to ensure we have investment in Housing with onsite Supports. Building on the model championed in Rebuilding Ireland.
  3. With the numbers of over 85s renting increasing 5 fold in the last 25 years, provide a path towards long-term lease agreements to ensure security of tenure. We believe there are workarounds to perceived constitutional issues.
  4. We need to incentivise right sizing. 59,462 homes are needed for older people who choose right-sizing which is key to ensuring housing is accessible to all and supports ageing in place.
  5. 45,905 housing units are needed through social housing. This is a housing target aligned to the changing demographics over the next 10 years, equating to 4,590 units per year.
  6. Implementation of the joint policy statement ‘Housing Options for our Ageing Population’ will be central to ensuring that older people are supported to age at home regardless of ownership. Infrastructure of support coordination is a priority and requires investment and development to fully support older people.
  7. Housing Adaptation Grant requires an investment of €84.5 million per year over the next 10 years to meet demand.
  8. Targeted interventions to prevent homelessness amongst older people.
  9. All housing developments must incorporate universal design principles to allow people to age in place or to choose to right-size in communities they have lived in all their lives.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE has said, “The last year has brought world-wide attention to many existing and ever-increasing issues for older people. ALONE has continually called on Government to commit to delivering on requests for Housing for All options. We are heading towards generation after generation experiencing intensive and preventable housing issues that are already worsening today.

“These actions will make the best use of current stock, remove older people from insecure positions they are in, future-proof our housing stock, support younger people to get a home, help reduce the pressure in the rented sector, be more cost effective when building the right units in the right place and maximised cost versus benefit.

“Each of our nine asks will enable current older people and future generations, with medium to high support needs, to live in the community, with the additional support they need to live independently, or semi-independently. These asks will future-proof the present, imminent and next couple of decades of older people.”

Notes to the Editor

  • Ireland’s population of people over 60 is expected to grow form 1,004,670 in 2021 to 1,312,783 by 2031[1].
  • Nearly 60% of people aged 50 and over report experiencing housing problem, including leaks, rot, damp or mould and structural problems[2].
  • 15% of those aged 65 and over would ‘right-size’[3]. Approximately 91,000 to 121,000 older households would move if they could sell their home and purchase a purpose-built home in the same area for a lower price[4].
  • There are 61,880 households on the waiting list for social housing, with the number of people aged 60-69 increasing by 43% and those aged 70 and over increasing by almost 20%[5]. – the only age groups which are raising
  • From 1991 – 2016, there has been a 12% increase in the number of over 80s renting, and a 49% increase in over 85s renting[6].
  • 2.4% of those aged 65 and over are renting from a private landlord, compared to nearly 10% of 50 – 54 year olds[7]. The number of people aged 55 – 64 has also increased in recent years, increasing from 37,263 in 2011 to 44,440 in 2016, an increase of nearly 20%[8].
  • In 2031, just ten years from now, 18.8% of the population will be over 65+ compared to 13% in 2016. [9] ALONE have highlighted this as being particularly concerning when we look at the proportion of people aged 35-44, and 45-54, renting with increases of up to five times between 1991 and 2016.[10] The organisation stresses that our middle aged renters are the older people of tomorrow and the current system will not and presently does not shield the over 65’s in our Country. People in these age groups will struggle to buy and in twenty years’ time we could see a much higher proportion of over 55s living in the private rented sector.
  • Since Rebuilding Ireland was launched, the number of people over 65 accessing emergency accommodation has remained relatively static, increasing by 1.7% from 2017 to 2020, however, since 2014, it has increased by 60%[11].

[1] ALONE, 2018. Housing Choices For Older People In Ireland – Time For Action. [online] p.5. Available at: <https://alone.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Housing-Choices-for-Older-People-in-Ireland-Time-for-Action-1.pdf> [Accessed 10 August 2020]. 

[2] The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, 2016. Housing conditions of Ireland’s older population: Implications for physical and mental health. [online] Dublin: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, p.12. Available at: <https://tilda.tcd.ie/publications/reports/pdf/Report_HousingConditions.pdf> [Accessed 28 May 2021].

[3] ALONE, 2018. Housing Choices For Older People In Ireland. [online] ALONE, p.7. Available at: <https://alone.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Housing-Choices-for-Older-People-in-Ireland-Time-for-Action-1.pdf> [Accessed 21 July 2020].

[4] Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service, 2021. Attitudinal survey of mature homeowners. [online] Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service. Available at: <https://igees.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201020-IGEES-Mature-Home-Owners.pdf> [Accessed 20 May 2021].

[5] https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/970ea-summary-of-social-housing-assessments-2020-key-findings/

[6] Central Statistics Office, n.d. Census of Population 2016 – Profile 1 Housing in Ireland. [online] Central Statistics Office. Available at: <https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp1hii/cp1hii/tr/> [Accessed 10 May 2021].

[7] ALONE, 2018. Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland. [online] ALONE, p.8. Available at: <https://alone.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Housing-Choices-for-Older-People-in-Ireland-Time-for-Action-1.pdf> [Accessed 29 April 2021].

[8] Central Statistics Office, 2020. Private Households in Permanent Housing Units 2011 to 2016. Central Statistics Office.

[9] https://assets.gov.ie/9398/ca553fa753b64f14b20e4a8dcf9a46ab.pdf

[10] Accessed through Social Justice Ireland; Data extracted from NESC (2014) Home Ownership and Rental: What Road is Ireland On?; Malone (2019) Housing in Ireland: changing trends in headship rates and tenure by age group

[11] Analysis of Department of Housing reports on numbers accessing emergency accommodation from 2014 – 2017 at the end of year.

ALONE welcome Government’s approval of Sláintecare Implementation Strategy & Action Plan 2021-2023

The organisation believe that this is a positive investment in health care services for all

Dublin, 12 May 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age safely and securely at home, has welcomed and is encouraged by the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy & Action Plan 2021-2023, published this morning. The organisation has previously advocated for improved healthcare to support Ireland’s growing ageing population, and believe that the implementation of this plan will benefit older people as they return to society in the coming weeks and months.

The Plan will receive funding of €3.69bn over 3 years, which ALONE believe is the level of investment needed in health services in order to make health care more community based and accessible to older people. ALONE wish to work alongside Government in order to ensure that the targets and goals set out in the plan are realised for everyone.

ALONE have continually called for improved supports for older people to enable them to age at home safely and securely, such as increased home supports, Implementing Community Specialist Hubs, including Integrated Care Programmes for Older People, the National Falls Prevention Programme and the recruitment of Dementia Advisors, all of which are outlined in the Plan.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We are delighted that Sláintecare, with cross party support, has finally received the Government investment that it needs. ALONE believe that the approval of the Implementation Strategy & Action Plan 2021-2023 is a step in the right direction, however there is much more to be addressed and developed given the realities that come with an ageing population. We are looking forward to working with Government to ensure that the targets and goals set are realised for the benefit of everyone.”

He continued, “This is also about reform, and we are all going to have to work together to bring about the changes needed for this plan to be realised. Nothing stands still, input and feedback will be required from all parties involved to ensure the effective implementation of the plan across the country.” 

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

‘Housing with Supports offers tangible alternative to nursing home care,’ says ALONE

The organisation made the comment in welcoming the Department of Housing’s latest Statement of Strategy

Dublin, 21st April 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age safely and securely at home, has welcomed and is encouraged by the Statement of Strategy 2021 – 2025 released by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The spectrum of housing choices for older people urgently needs to grow from simple traditional independent family homes and/or high dependency nursing homes to a more varied and person-centred approach. ALONE advocates that all housing should use Universal Design and Age-Friendly Principles. Housing for older people should involve the older person in the decision-making process, be provided for mixed aged groups, be connected with local social, cultural and economic activity and have multi-disciplinary supports, all facilitating positive ageing at home. ALONE will continue to seek funding, identify sites and develop ALONE Housing with on-site Support Schemes.

ALONE has been canvassing for almost a decade around housing choices with supports and security for older people. ALONE agrees that having a framework will ensure a sustainable housing system in Ireland with a supply of good quality housing. We must in this plan address the issue how we provide safety and security of tenure to older people in private rented who are a very real risk of homelessness. In doing so we must encourage AHB and council to increase the number of houses for older people to meet demand. We can help address the need for housing for all age groups by addressing the needs of older people.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have identified their second objective as supporting the delivery of 50,000 social homes with an emphasis on new builds. This relates directly to ALONE’s continued advocacy work towards the delivery of Age-Friendly Housing. These supportive plans will allow for a wider range of residential care choices available to older people.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE believe that Department of Housing’s new Statement of Strategy is a step in the right direction but there is much more to be addressed and developed given the realities that come with an ageing population. We need to increase the range of housing options on offer to the older people and ensure that they are supported to age well in their own home or communities. Many of the older people we work with have entered nursing home care prematurely because they could not get the support to live independently.”

“ALONE have been developing our own Housing with Supports model alongside the Department of Housing and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage which will offer a real and tangible alternative to nursing home care and represents a massive saving to the State. Housing with Supports is a non-medical model of housing and care provision for older people, with onsite staff supports that allows older people to live with dignity and independence. This type of housing promotes active participation of the older person, uses age-friendly design, has 24hour on-site support, has multi-agency and multi-disciplinary supports and fosters strong connections with communities.”

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.

ALONE highlights the importance of physical movement to combat frailty among older people re-emerging into society

The organisation is encouraging older people to stay active on National Arthritis Week, taking place from the 12th – 18th of April

Dublin, 12 April 2021     ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is highlighting the importance of physical movement for joint health in older people during National Arthritis Week, 12th – 18th of April 2021. ALONE is concerned about the physical, mental and social challenges that older people will face as they break their period of social isolation and readjust to a new normal, and has previously emphasised the need for a plan for Older Adults to be established as older people receive their vaccines and begin to return to society.

Global experts have highlighted the need to increase or maintain physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain good physical health. According to a study conducted by TILDA, 21.5% of adults aged 65 and over experience frailty, with 40% experiencing pre-frailty symptoms.

ALONE has stated that while frailty is not a universal experience among all older people, many individuals are currently experiencing frailty in some form as a result of prolonged periods of cocooning in order to protect themselves from COVID-19. The organisation has cited this ongoing issue as one of the reasons that the Government must urgently establish a re-emergence plan for older people, with input from a stakeholder group for older adults.

The HSE interim report on the impact of cocooning measures on older people found that cocooning and social isolation had a marked impact on physical health, stating that Government restrictions on social activity and participation of older people may contribute to the development of a number of long-term health risks and increase the risk of COVID-19 infection and severity. In addition to the physical impact of increased frailty, individuals may also experience reduced independence and increased levels of social isolation, which can in turn have a detrimental impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “This year on National Arthritis Week, we are highlighting the physical impacts of this pandemic on older people, particularly the impact of cocooning on their physical health. Long periods of physical inactivity while cocooning may result in deconditioning and loss of muscle mass, leading to frailty and an increased fall risk among older people. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, mostly at home, and falls are the leading cause of injury, disability and admission to nursing homes for this group.”

He continued, “It is clear that the pandemic will have a detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of vulnerable groups such as older people, and it is up to us to ensure that steps are taken now to develop a re-emergence plan for vulnerable adults. In order to do this, we are seeking to establish a stakeholder group for Older Adults composed of representatives from Civil Society, Healthcare, Age Organisations, supportive groups for Vulnerable Adults and the relevant Government Departments in order to address the issues arising as older and more vulnerable individuals begin to re-emerge into society.

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.

ALONE stands with the World Health Organisation in building a fairer, healthier world for all

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.

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.

‘New rural development policy a step in the right direction’

ALONE is hopeful that the policy will support older people to use technology and stay connected with their families and communities

Dublin, 30th March 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the publication from Government detailing a framework for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years. Five key areas strike a chord with ALONE as they align with their strategic goals: Optimising Digital Connectivity, Revitalising Rural Towns and Villages, Enhancing Participation, Leadership and Resilience in Rural Communities, Enhancing Public Services in Rural Areas and Transitioning to a Climate Neutral Society.

While ALONE continually advocate for improved social policies for older people, they have been working relentlessly to deliver services in a national network. ALONE’s support of this development is evident as it strongly encourages nobody to get left behind. Linked to the organisation’s continued efforts to deliver technology designed to support older people and organisations supporting independent living, the investment of up to €2.7 billion in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan will accelerate the delivery connectivity to an increased number of older people. COVID-19 has shown up our ability to adapt and the importance of technology for monitoring and empowering older people with their health.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, stated, “With this publication addressing both the challenges and opportunities in rural communities, we encourage it every success and know that it will be a worthwhile investment. ALONE’s technology supports have enhanced the lives of hundreds of older people and their families, especially during this last year experiencing long period of loneliness and social isolation.

“We are looking forward to seeing how we can work towards beginning the growth of housing with supports models across the Country with revitalising rural towns and villages. ALONE are also looking towards re-emergence programmes and efforts to reengage older people while supported by our nearly 3,000 volunteers and other community supports through Leadership and Resilience programmes. We hope that this policy document will support hundreds more older people to stay connected with their families and communities.”

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.

ALONE | HFAs Social Investment Fund

ALONE were delighted to have been awarded €35,000 under the HFAs Social Investment Fund. This funding has gone towards financing provisions in the Kitchen, Sitting Room, Bedroom fitting and fixtures of our Jamestown Court Development, Inchicore, Dublin 8. Our Jamestown Court refurbishment scheme has 12 units of accommodation for older people where we are adopting the use of Universal Design principles. This design ensures tenants are limited from bending down thus reducing risk of falls. Thank you ever so kindly to the HFA for this funding, we are taking steps closer towards our vision and mission of enabling older people to age at home, safely and securely.