ALONE and Dublin City Council urge communities to reach out to older people this winter

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

Dublin, 2nd December 2019  Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul Mc Auliffe, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí, Dublin Fire Brigade, and StayWell Pharmacies is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

Lord Mayor Paul Mc Auliffe said, “The colder winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable and may be feeling isolated. We are appealing to all Dubliners and indeed people across the country to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone or be at risk of struggling with loneliness, health difficulties or fuel poverty.

This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year. I am confident that Dubliners will respond with our usual sense of kindness, compassion and goodness.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Colder temperatures can have a serious impact on the health and safety of older people, and Ireland has among the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe. We regularly work with older people who don’t have central heating, live in challenging housing conditions, and even people who have used their free travel and stayed on buses and trains during the day to keep warm. It’s really important that we reach out to people who may be finding things difficult due to ill health, financial worries, or housing difficulties. We hope that by spreading this message and by reaching out, more people will stay safe and well this winter.”

Moynihan continued, “According to reports by TILDA, around 1 in 10 older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or mildew. We encourage anyone who may be concerned about their own wellbeing or someone else’s to reach out for assistance from ALONE if needed. We want people to know that ALONE is here to help with any problems they may have this winter, from housing conditions to loneliness.”

ALONE have also partnered with StayWell pharmacies this winter. Anyone interested in supporting older people to stay warm in winter can donate new hot water bottles, blankets, gloves, slippers and more through donation boxes in nine StayWell pharmacies nationwide, which ALONE will distribute to older people who need them. Donations can be made directly to ALONE on www.alone/donate

ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the winter months. ALONE have staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, utilities or medication.

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit www.alone.ie  

The campaign is part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to an Age-Friendly City.

Make Your Minutes Count with ALONE this Christmas

“Older people have the most amazing stories to tell”: Marian Keyes joins ALONE in asking the public to reach out and spend some time with older people spending Christmas alone

Dublin, 15th November 2019 ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has today launched their Christmas campaign, which encourages members of the public to make their minutes count by working together to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Author Marian Keyes launched the organisation’s Christmas campaign, to encourage members of the public to take a few minutes out of their day to interact with their older neighbours and relatives who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness as the festive season approaches.

ALONE is also asking for support from new volunteers and donors to help to support them to combat loneliness and other challenges faced by older people. One in ten people over 75 are lonely a lot of the time and demand for ALONE’s services has increased five-fold in recent years. One in 4 older people live alone, and this increases in rural areas.

Marian commented, “I’m delighted to be helping ALONE launch their Christmas campaign this year, to spread awareness of such an important issue. I admire the work that they do with older people and I’m so happy to be a part of such a positive message. Loneliness and isolation can be serious problems for older people and dropping in for a chat or helping a neighbour with their shopping could make all the difference to their mental health. We’ve all felt alone at certain times in our lives, sometimes all it takes is a cup of tea and a bit of a laugh to really lift an older person’s spirits.  A few minutes may not mean much to you, but to a lonely older person it could be the highlight of their day.”

She continued, “As we age, it can be more difficult to reach out to people for companionship; a lot of older people might be embarrassed or too proud to admit that they are lonely. What might only seem like a quick chat to you can make an older person feel loved, appreciated, and that they are part of the community. Older people have the most amazing stories to tell and it’s really important that we take the time to listen. Christmas provides people with the perfect opportunity to drop in on older neighbours and relatives for a few mince pies and a chat.”

ALONE depends on the generosity of the public for support through volunteering and donations. As part of a range of services, ALONE provides a Support and Befriending service, which is designed to alleviate the negative impacts loneliness has on mental and physical health. Volunteers are trained and supported by experienced staff, and provide older people with companionship and practical support.

“It takes us ten minutes to introduce an older person to their new volunteer, but it can lead to years of companionship and friendship and it can change someone’s life. In the run up to Christmas none of us ever seem to have enough time to do all the things we need to do. We know that not everyone has the time to volunteer with ALONE – but it only takes a minute to donate and to help us to continue to do the work we do. Demand for our services has increased five-fold in recent years and we are reliant on the support of the public to keep delivering our services. €10 can pay for an hour of support from ALONE,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.

Moynihan continued, “Loneliness is a crisis experienced by thousands of older people and it’s important to remember that there are many older people who will spend the festive period alone. Loneliness is a year-round issue but it can be particularly difficult during the festive and winter periods. 45% of the older people we work with are over 80. We are asking members of the public to support ALONE by giving a little bit of their time to older people who are alone, by making a donation to support our services or by referring an older person who might use our services.”

ALONE also launched its national phone line at their Christmas launch. The phone line is open Monday-Friday from 9-5 for older people across the country, on 0818 222 024.

“We are encouraging any older person who needs support this winter to reach out and give us a call,” said Moynihan. “There are tens of thousands of older people who are experiencing loneliness, isolation, housing and financial difficulties, and other challenges this winter, and we want them to know that support is available. 1 in 4 people who use ALONE’s services picked up the phone themselves for support.”

ALONE say that there are a number of ways that the public can reach out and spend their time helping an older person this Christmas, for example; dropping in to an older person’s house for a cup of tea and a chat, ensuring they have enough food, medication and heat, bringing them to a social event and giving them a hand with their shopping.

Contact ALONE 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information visit www.alone.ie  

Disappointment with lack of support for older people in Budget 2020, as older people are denied pension increase

ALONE responds to Budget 2020

Dublin, 8th October 2019   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has expressed its disappointment today that there has not been further support for older people in Budget 2020.

The charity is frustrated that there has not been further support in the areas of pensions and home supports, while welcoming initiatives such as the increase to the Living Alone Allowance.  

Although the Budget addressed issues such as Brexit and climate change, ALONE believe that it did not adequately respond to challenges including those posed by Ireland’s ageing population and the housing crisis.

“The decision to deny older people any increase to their pension is hugely frustrating,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan. “Many people assume that older people have their financial needs met by their state pension. Financial hardship is often a hidden issue among older people, yet it is the third most frequent reason older people contact ALONE. In 2017, more than 63,000 people over 65 were experiencing enforced deprivation. In order to deliver financial security to older people the pension needs to be benchmarked against 35% of average earnings, which would require an increase of at least €7-€9 to the state pension this year and in the coming years.”

For many older people, the State pension does not enable them to cope with costs such as increasing rents in private rental accommodation, transport, achieving and maintaining housing up to basic standards, or keeping ‘rainy day’ funds. In these cases, older people must seek financial assistance from organisations like ALONE.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan also expressed concern that the carbon tax, which will be increased by €6 per tonne this year and in the coming years, will impact some of the most vulnerable older people in Irish society. The increase is likely to impact older people who have a low income or live in older and poorly insulated homes, and those in rural areas. While ALONE welcomes the modest increase to the fuel allowance, the charity had hoped to see the fuel allowance period restored to 32 weeks to ensure that older people are supported when they need it.

“While we welcome the increase to the fuel allowance and recognise the need to tackle carbon usage, we are concerned that the carbon tax will impact vulnerable older people who already struggle to pay their heating costs. Some older people ALONE work with already cut essentials to ensure their budgets balance – for example, by waiting until their home gets too cold to manage before putting on the heating, or staying in bed to save on fuel costs,” said Moynihan. “While we welcome the increase in the Fuel Allowance and accompanying measures to help to mitigate the impact of this cost increase, this is a cause for significant concern.”

The organisation also expressed reservations regarding the increase to home support hours. “While we welcome the announcement that prescription charges will be reduced by 50c and that 1 million extra home care hours will be provided as part of the Home Supports Services, these measures do not go far enough. The HSE will provide 17.9 million home support hours to 53,000 people in 2019. An additional 1 million hours will not be sufficient to meet the needs of now more than 7,000 older people and people with disabilities on the waiting list for the Home Supports Service. The Home Supports Service requires a far greater increase in hours and a plan for the coming years to meet the demand,” concluded Moynihan.

However, ALONE welcomed the increase to the Living Alone allowance, which ALONE and other ageing NGOs have been requesting for several years. This is a long-awaited and greatly welcomed increase for older people living alone who are most vulnerable.  They also expressed relief that the Christmas bonus will be maintained in Budget 2020.

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ALONE granted funding from Sláintecare Integration Fund

The charity has been granted funding to develop and expand their technology and community supports and services

Dublin, 16th September 2019: ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, is delighted to announce they have been granted funding from the Sláintecare Integration Fund. ALONE is one of 122 successful projects from 477 applicants across the country which have received funding from the Sláintecare fund.

ALONE received funding for their project, ‘ALONE BConnect: linking healthcare, social care and community care together using technology and services’.

The project aims to provide technology and services to support older people to manage their own health and wellbeing, and to improve the community’s capacity to meet the needs of older people. The project will enable ALONE to better support older people across the country, starting in the North of Dublin, including by supporting discharge from hospital, reducing hospital admissions, enabling better quality of care for older people, and building the capacity of the community to support the older people in their area.

The project will provide support to people over 60 who have dementia, need additional support returning home from hospital, or have chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The funding will enable ALONE to achieve outcomes including creating an online directory of supports and services for older people, improving and adapting ALONE BConnect technology, supporting other organisations to implement best practices and create common models, and delivering technology enabled care to an additional 150 people. ALONE will also produce a set of Universal Design guidelines for technology enabled care with the support of the Centre of Universal Design, to support the procurement of technology within the HSE and other health services.

“ALONE is delighted to have the support of the Sláintecare Integration Fund to continue the development and roll out of our technology and services. We look forward to working with all those organisations who have been granted funding, particularly those with a focus on older people,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.

“ALONE are aligned to Sláintecare’s vision and we are creating an infrastructure and a staff cohort to enable us to support older people to age happily and securely at home. In 2017 ALONE won the HSE Excellence Award for Innovative Support Coordination for older people. This project layers technology on top of that as we roll our services out nationally.”

ALONE’s range of technology includes an app for the older person to enable them to self-monitor their health, sensors in the home, a blood pressure cuff, a glucose monitor, wearable technology (including a smart watch) and emergency response devices. ALONE technology offers peace of mind and security to older people to live independently at home for as long as they wish to.ALONE is already delivering technology for older people in areas across the country, including in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon through the Dormant Accounts Fund, and providing support for community organisations nationwide.

“We know that no one organisation can meet the needs of Ireland’s ageing population alone,” continued Moynihan. “With the support of the Sláintecare Integration Fund, we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with community organisations and NGOs and to create a network so that together we can provide the support older people need to age at home. We look forward to working with organisations including Northside Homecare, who we will work with on this project, so that ALONE BConnect technology and community supports can provide the best support possible to older people and the organisations that support them.”

ENDS

ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE celebrates National Volunteering Week
ALONE volunteers make more than 35,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support each year

Dublin, 13th May 2019 ALONE, the charity that supports older people, is celebrating all those who dedicate their time to helping older people during National Volunteering Week starting on Monday 13th May.

Organised by Volunteer Ireland in partnership with the Network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services, this week is dedicated to highlighting volunteer work across Ireland.

Established by 30 volunteers 42 years ago, more than 1,500 ALONE volunteers now provide visits and telephone calls to older people who might be lonely or need extra social contact and support. Volunteer numbers are expected to hit 9,000 in the coming years in order to meet increasing demand for befriending and support.

Volunteering is an invaluable service to the community and can keep volunteers active, build stronger communities and change lives.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “On National Volunteering Week, we want to thank each and every one of our volunteers for everything they do week in, week out for older people. We can’t put a price on the support and benefit that volunteers bring. They change the lives for people when they need it most.”

“We hope that more people are encouraged by National Volunteering Week to get involved in something bigger than themselves. As our population ages, volunteers will be more vital than ever to help to combat loneliness and the issues we face as we get older. What is so special about volunteering is the benefits it brings to both involved, particularly the relationship between the volunteer and older person,” he said.

Josephine Lennon, ALONE volunteer, said: “I volunteer for ALONE because I believe that building a friendship with an older person is an invaluable gift not only for the older person but also for the volunteer. Spending time on a regular and ongoing basis with a person is a simple act. Listening and chatting, in an atmosphere of respect and kindness, is at the heart of each visit and such a pleasurable and rewarding activity. In fact it is a privilege to get the opportunity to make a small difference in another person’s life.

“Volunteering for ALONE has, for me, meant using my time to sit quietly and enjoy the company of an older person. It brings peace and a sense of joy. It is reminder of how precious life is and how interesting and unique each person’s life journey is.”

ALONE volunteers make more than 72,000 visits to older people and give countless hours of practical and emotional support, both in person and over the phone, every year.

ALONE is always looking for more volunteers to expand their services and reach more people in need of assistance across Ireland. For more information and to learn how to offer your time to ALONE, please visit www.ALONE.ie/contact-us.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours as Munster prepares for orange weather warning

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours
as Munster prepares for orange weather warning

Dublin, 26th April 2019 ALONE is urging older people to take extra care following the status orange weather warning issued for all of Munster by Met Éireann in preparation of Storm Hannah. In place from 4am today until early Saturday morning, severe and damaging winds of 65 to 80km/h are expected and gusts could reach 110 to 120km/h for a time tonight.

ALONE is advising older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed. ALONE is also calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need to travel to the local shop or post office during the bad weather.

Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions. Older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status orange weather warning for Munster counties, we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”

Met Eireann have warned that wind warnings could be upgraded to Status Red level and will review all warning later today. A yellow wind warning is also in place for Connacht, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Donegal, Tipperary and Waterford between 11pm tonight and 9am Saturday.

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

Those who have concerns for an older person, or older people in need of assistance can contact ALONE on (01) 679 1032. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff who can act on requests for assistance, and works in partnership to ensure all calls for assistance are responded to. ALONE can assist and advise on issues relation to food, heat, or medication.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours as for yellow weather warning issued

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours
as for yellow weather warning issued

Dublin, 26th April 2019 ALONE is urging older people to take extra care following the status yellow weather warning issued for Connacht, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Wicklow, Offaly, Donegal, Tipperary and Waterford. In place from 10pm today until 9am Saturday morning, gale force winds are expected.

ALONE is advising older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed. ALONE is also calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need to travel to the local shop or post office during the bad weather.

Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions. Older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a status yellow weather warning for across the country, we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”

Met Éireann have issued a status orange warning to all of Munster as severe and damaging winds of 65 to 80km/h are expected and gusts could reach 110 to 120km/h for a time tonight. A review scheduled for later today may see this warning upgraded to status red as the area prepares for storm damage and possible power outages.

Further information, including advice and tips for older people in extreme weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.

Those who have concerns for an older person, or older people in need of assistance can contact ALONE on (01) 679 1032. The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has volunteers and staff who can act on requests for assistance, and works in partnership to ensure all calls for assistance are responded to. ALONE can assist and advise on issues relation to food, heat, or medication.

ENDS

Note to the Editor
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person some daily some weekly. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

ALONE welcomes announcement of €3M to tackle loneliness

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE welcomes announcement of €3M to tackle loneliness
The Loneliness Taskforce, established by ALONE and Sen. Keith Swanick, called for investment and responsibility of loneliness allocated to a specific Minister in June 2018

Dublin, 17th April 2019 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a €3 million fund, separate to the mental fund, which will be used to combat loneliness across Ireland. The move is welcome recognition from this Government of the seriousness of loneliness as a health issue and highlights the willingness to tackle it.

ALONE CEO, Seán Moynihan, collaborated with Senator Keith Swanick to form the Loneliness Taskforce, an initiative to coordinate a response to loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. The Loneliness Taskforce endeavours to increase awareness about the issue and to achieve the implementation of a set of recommendations set out for Government, state agencies and all policy makers.

Seán Moynihan, said of the announcement, “Today’s news is a significant achievement for the Loneliness Taskforce and the ongoing work across Ireland to highlight the loneliness epidemic, which is affecting people of all age groups. ALONE is proud to have worked on this for more than a year with Senator Swanick and the other members of the Taskforce. Our work has highlighted just how important this is to people across Ireland and we welcome the Government’s response.”

Moynihan continued, “Loneliness can seriously impact your physical and mental health, and evidence has shown that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are almost twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. It is vital to support grassroots community organisations which have emerged because they have witnessed, first-hand, the need to combat loneliness, and to ensure supports are community-led. Many organisations are already working on this and we must make sure these receive adequate support. The €3 million funding announced this morning will go a long way to ensure that this happens.”

Considering loneliness and social isolation as one of the greatest public health risks today, the charity was grateful for a productive discussion with Minister Daly held in the Seanad recently and was glad to see the support for this issue and discussion points taken on board.

Moynihan commented, “Minister Daly has demonstrated considerable support for the work of ALONE and the Loneliness Taskforce over the last year and more. We are pleased to see that the issue of loneliness, under the heading of ‘civic connectedness’ will now be recognized under his remit as Minister for Mental Health. There is much work still to be done in research, campaigning and on other Loneliness Taskforce recommendations over the coming months and years but we hope that this just the beginning of this journey.”

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit www.alone.ie.

ENDS

About the Loneliness Taskforce
The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Senator Keith Swanick in collaboration with the CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan, to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. Members of the Taskforce include Professor John Hillery, Justin McNulty MLA, Professor Brian Lawlor, Dr Eddie Murphy, Professor Roger O’Sullivan, Sabrina McEntee, Sinead Dooley, Anne Lynott and Sean Gallagher.

About ALONE
Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing. ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

For more information contact:
Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, Lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society partner to present ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’

Friend of ALONE, Vincent Browne, will moderate the symposium on 17th May 2019

Dublin 16th April 2019 ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, has partnered with the Irish Gerontological Society to present a symposium titled ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’. The event will take place in the Education Centre of St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, on 17th May.

Friend of ALONE, broadcaster Vincent Browne will moderate the seminar which will examine the issues facing Irish society as our ageing population continues to increase. Experts from the Department of Health, Social Justice Ireland, St Vincent’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St James’ Hospital will share insights and suggest solutions to better provide support for older people. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society believe that now is the time to discuss and plan how Ireland will support our ageing population.

Speakers on the day will include Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland; Karl Duff, Department of Health; Dr. Graham Hughes, Consultant Geriatrician, St. Vincent’s Hospital; Dr. Siobhán Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician, Connolly Hospital; Professor Brian Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist, St. James’s Hospital; Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, ALONE; Ciara O’Reilly, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Beaumont Hospital; and Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, President, Irish Gerontological Society.

Tickets to the seminar, and further information on the speakers and programme, are available through the IGS website at https://www.irishgerontology.com/events/living-well-our-community-opportunities-and-challenges

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, will discuss the importance of linking health and community services to best support those in need. “We are delighted to partner with the Irish Gerontological Society to present this symposium next month. I’m looking forward to an engaging session with experts dedicated to tackling the challenges we face in supporting older people across Ireland,” he said.

The announcement of the symposium comes following the recording of the highest ever number of patients waiting on trolleys in an Irish hospital in University Hospital Limerick last week. “Hospital overcrowding is one such challenge we consistently face in supporting people to live well in their community. Events like this symposium give us the opportunity to broaden the discussion and find innovative solutions for issues like these,” Moynihan continued.

“ALONE has been working on the frontline of community-led care for 40 years and we know just how important it is to open dialogue and explore how community groups, organisations, healthcare professionals, and government bodies can learn from each other and work together to support our country’s ageing population.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Irish Gerontological Society President, said, “ALONE’s partnership on this event and the engagement from participating speakers have been instrumental for providing an informed and rounded discussion on all aspects pertaining to older people. We’re looking forward to a stimulating day in St Vincent’s Hospital next month and to welcoming a multi-disciplinary audience to discuss and engage with these important issues.

Having age attuned pathways, both in our communities and hospitals will mean that if ill health, chronic illness, frailty or dementia affects an older person there are appropriate services in place to help them and their families. Addressing the challenge of delayed discharges from hospitals is one significant part of this challenge – those who end up staying in hospital longer than is good for them. The IGS will launch a position paper on this issue at the symposium.”

The importance of being able to age at home was highlighted by Kay Maddill, ALONE tenant: “I think home is your front door, home is your safety. Home is to have control over who comes and who doesn’t come.”

ENDS

NOTE TO THE EDITOR
Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE
ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

ALONE calls on Dubliners to support older people as the first ever ‘ALONE Donation Day’ takes place on Thursday 4th April

 The charity will be fundraising across the city throughout the day with the help of Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly

 

Dublin 26th March 2019   ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, is asking Dubliners to give generously to volunteers fundraising across the city and for supporters nationwide to donate to ALONE online on Thursday 4th April, as it launches its first ‘ALONE Donation Day’.

Supporting older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties, the charity is reliant on donations to provide its services nationally.

Volunteers from Standard Life, Capita, the National Lottery and Credit Agricole Assurances, will be stationed across Dublin from 8am to 8pm, with a focus on South City centre hubs such as Camden Street, St Stephen’s Green and Grand Canal Dock.

They will be joined by special guest Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly, former bag man to the Irish rugby squad, who will also be raising funds for ALONE on the day.

The charity is encouraging anyone interested in donating to ALONE to look out for bucket collectors in the South Inner City or to donate to ALONE on their website, at www.alone.ie/donate.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We’re excited to bring our first ever ALONE Donation Day to the streets of Dublin on Thursday, 4th April. ALONE was founded in Dublin more than 40 years ago and today we want the people of Dublin to come together to support us and the older people in their community.”

“In 2017 we doubled the number of people we supported, but our donations increased by just 15%. We need the public to get behind us so that we can continue to support older people in the community. We are dependent on donations and are urging those living and working in Dublin City Centre to look out for ALONE volunteers and give as generously as they can.”

“We would like to offer a huge thanks to our volunteers from Standard Life, Capita, the National Lottery and Credit Agricole Assurances for offering their time and support.”

To find out more information about getting support from or volunteering for ALONE, visit alone.ie or call (01) 679 1032.

ENDS

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

 

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033