ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours, friends and relatives as temperatures spike in the coming week

The organisation is also reminding older people to reach out for assistance if they are struggling during the heatwave

Dublin, 20 July 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is urging older people to be careful and take necessary precautions as temperatures are set to rise this week, following separate warnings from Met Éireann, the HSE and the Department of Health, as daytime high temperatures are set to remain in the 27 to 30 degree range over coming days.

A status yellow weather warning has been issued by Met Éireann for “not unusual weather but conditions that may bring localised danger”. Older people can be more vulnerable during warmer weather conditions, and are at a greater risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, especially those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.

The organisation is advising older people to keep cool and hydrated in the coming week, and to take regular breaks from the sun. If spending an extended period of time in the sun, ALONE has advised that older people regularly and liberally apply sunscreen, wear loose clothing, sunglasses and a hat. Older people should also keep a small drum of water in the refrigerator in the event that water pressure is significantly reduced or restricted. Fill up your kettle, pots and pans with water. If you notice a significant drop in water pressure, contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278.

ALONE is also calling on members of the public to check in on older people to ensure that they have everything they need and that they are keeping safe and cool in the heat. The organisation is asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the heatwave to call for assistance and help if needed.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “While it’s great to be able to get out and enjoy the good weather, we are reminding older people to take care and exercise caution in the heat, as this is a group which are at risk in extreme weather conditions. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be very harmful to over 65’s, particularly those who live alone or have existing health conditions. It is important to stay cool, drink plenty of water and to wear sunscreen and a hat when spending extended periods of time outdoors.”

He continued, “We are also calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours, friends and relatives living alone and to consider their needs; if there is anything you think you can help with, no matter how small, do reach out to them. It could make a world of difference to an older person during these challenging times. Finally, please continue to follow relevant public health advice to keep you and those around you safe from COVID-19.”

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

50,000 calls received from Older People by ALONE

ALONE provides advice and support for older people, aiming to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing from the first point of contact

Dublin, 19th July 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, has received over 50,000 calls into their Service, which paves the way towards direct access to their integrated service model. ALONE has been supporting an increasing number of older people in need, through the COVID-19 pandemic with their National Support Line crucial in mobilising a rapid response in every county to make sure everyone is looked after. Their dedicated line acts as a gateway to their integrated service model and means that older people across the Country have one direct link for services, advice and information.

ALONE have supported 7,130 unique older people in 2021 alone, continuing to mark an increase in volume of older people seeking ongoing support. The organisation offer an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support and Assistive Technology. While 68% of callers to ALONE’s National Support Line are living alone, ALONE work with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty, or are facing other difficulties. Support requests from older people range anywhere from Financial/Legal, Personal Care, Housing, Support & Befriending or Technology and Safety/Security.

The National Support Line is the first point of access to our fully-integrated service model which assesses each individual on a case-by-case basis, which will enable older people to continue ageing at home. So far this year, ALONE have put 3,050support plans in place for those who have called with an issue in order to develop tailored solutions to each problem. The organisations individualised support plans, provide a point of contact for access to health, financial benefits and supports, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

ALONE have placed almost 100,000 calls to older people who have been linked in with their services this year to date. The total number of volunteers linked in with ALONE is over 3,000 who have cumulatively committed to 63,200 hours of volunteering in 2021.

ALONE’s Technology has been vital in assisting older people throughout the pandemic, where their team installed various devices for older people across the country in order to keep them connected, safe and secure. ALONE has enabled 455 new older people to use technology to age at home. Within the 352 Technology Support Plans put in place, 297 of these are devices that have been installed in older people’s homes.

Our integrated service:

“A 70-year-old woman called the National Support Line last May 2020, as she had recently moved back into her home house to care for her older mother. She was finding the change very tough so ALONE supplied information on Family Carers Ireland support. We set her up on Telephone Support & Befriending calls and she is currently waiting to be matched with Visitation Support & Befriending Volunteer.”

“An older gentleman called us in October 2020. He had no heating and wasn’t clear on what he needed to do with his local County Council. ALONE supported him and he was so thankful got his heating fixed and few other home repairs in time for Christmas.”

“An 80-year-old man called the National Support Line and referred himself via our website to receive Support & Befriending service as the feeling of social isolation and loneliness were making him experience feelings of depression. We matched him with a Visitation Support & Befriending volunteer in January 2021 and he is very thankful of the relationship formed through ALONE.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Our volunteers and staff have been working alongside older people for over forty years now, and our primary objective remains enabling older people to age safely and securely in their own homes. ALONE’s Services have continued to be a lifeline for older people across the country during dark times over the past year and we will continue this work until the threat of the pandemic has passed and beyond. Our National Support Line will continue to be the gateway to accessing our services and we endeavour to keep providing and expanding these services to accommodate for those who require them.

He continued, “We have accomplished so much across 2020 and 2021 but we will continue to work with older people who are struggling in order to provide assistance, support and reassurance. We must continue to protect our ageing population following the sacrifices that they have made in the past year and provide the necessary 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.

‘Budget 2022 must lift older people out of poverty’, says ALONE

The organisation has outlined its key asks in their Submission to the Department of Social Protection ahead of Budget 2022

Dublin, 8 July 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age safely and securely at home, has put forward a series of asks in their Submission to the Department of Social Protection in advance of this year’s Budget, highlighting income gaps faced by older people and calling for a number of factors to be considered by the Department in order to protect Ireland’s growing ageing population.

Financial matters are one of the biggest concerns raised by the older people ALONE work with, with 76% of older people with living alone. Latest research shows that an income of €286.48 is needed to avoid poverty in 2021[1]. The current Contributory State Pension is €248.30 and the Non-Contributory State Pension is €237; an older person on the Contributory State Pension is €38.18 below the poverty line.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan, stated, “The income gap between the State Pension and the amount needed to live above the poverty line is concerning, particularly as our older population is expected to grow from 640,000 to 1.1 million by the year 2030[2]. Pensions are somehow still falling below the poverty line, despite the fact that as a country we can afford to pay pensions to ensure an adequate standard of living; this is something that must be accounted for in the next Budget to protect older people from living in poverty.”

ALONE are calling for the State Pension to be increase by €10.50 in Budget 2022 and over the next years. The organisation has recommended that the pension be triple-locked at 35% of average weekly earnings, 2.5% annually, or the rate of inflation, whichever is greater. This will help to ensure that older people can receive an adequate income, secure pensions at a deliverable rate and protect pensions when average earnings drop.

ALONE is also calling for the Department of Social Protection to update the existing Telephone Support Allowance to an integrated Telephone and Technology Support Allowance, in order to help support older people to access digital technology. The current Allowance should be increased by €5 to €7.50 to assist with costs associated with technology, such as broadband and additional or replacement equipment.

The organisation has also called for the introduction of an Older Person Technology Grant of €250 to help support older people to buy technology such as e-Health devices, voice enabled devices, emergency response alarms, tablets or smart phone devices and smart home sensors. These devices can help to further original purpose of the Telephone Allowance to “help prevent social isolation among vulnerable members of society”[3].

Moynihan stated, “We have seen key services, such as banks and social welfare either closed their offices or moved totally online and now operate from a ‘digital first’ approach. This has widened the digital divide and those without skills to use online services and technology are being left behind. Budget 2022 must reduce the digital divide.

“From ALONE’s work we have demonstrated the benefit of technology to older people to empower them to manage their own health and wellbeing, improve their safety and security and to maintain connections with family. In 2020 we carried out nearly 1,900 technology prescriptions, including pendant alarms, mobile phones, and technology support interventions and completed over 4 pilot projects to demonstrate the wide range of benefits technology has for older people.”


[1] Social Justice Ireland, 2021. Poverty Focus 2021. [online] Social Justice Ireland, p.2. Available at: 2021-04-22-povertyfocusapril2021final.pdf (socialjustice.ie)

[2] ESRI. 2017. Demand For Healthcare Projected To Increase Substantially With Rapid Growth And Ageing Of Population. [online] Available at: Demand for healthcare projected to increase substantially with rapid growth and ageing of population | ESRI

[3]Department of Social Protection, 2018. Minister Doherty introduces new Telephone Support Allowance. [online] Available at:https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/a10ed5-minister-doherty-introduces-new-telephone-support-allowance/

#ChangeOneDay: Combat Loneliness being felt by older people with ALONE

Reach out to an older person in your life to tackle loneliness and #ChangeOneDay

Dublin,  21 June 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is highlighting the dangerous effects of loneliness being felt by older people in lieu of Loneliness Awareness Week. The Loneliness Taskforce have remarked that they wish to raise awareness of Loneliness in June each year as they advance towards their goals. ALONE is similarly campaigning for members of the public to reach out to an older neighbour, friend, relative or someone they don’t really know that well in order to #ChangeOneDay.

ALONE encourage members of the public to get involved in this campaign to change one person’s day by reaching out to an older person in their lives and encouraging others to do the same. Using the catchy reminder to, ‘Call 1 – Nominate 1 – Change 1’ – call one older person, nominate a friend to do the same, and change one person’s day for the better. This campaign coincides with National Selfie Day on the 21st of June and you can nominate others through posting a selfie on your social media pages.

The organisation are encouraging those who participate to post a creative selfie or photo of themselves either on a phone call, on a FaceTime call with an older person, or a physical, safe visit in-person and post them to social media with the hashtag #ChangeOneDay. Remembering to tag ALONE in posts. Once you have done so, nominate another person to do the same and start the cogs turning in combatting the effects of loneliness.

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, during this period. ALONE want to raise awareness of the negative effects that loneliness can have on older people, and are calling on members of the public to make small changes to their day-to-day lives that could help to combat loneliness among older people. Through this campaign, ALONE want to inspire people to think of older people throughout their day to day and check in or reach out. This could be something as simple as picking up the phone for a chat.

Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of early death, with some studies highlighting that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely[1]. Studies have linked loneliness and social isolation to higher risks of physical and mental conditions, including heart disease, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Since the beginning of 2021 to May of this year, ALONE made nearly 82,520 Support and Befriending calls to older people suffering from loneliness and social isolation. Also within this time frame, ALONE have received over 10,000 calls from older people to their National Support Line and in turn, have completed nearly 3,000 support plans for those who had an identified need for additional levels of support. Between 9th March and 31st December, ALONE supported almost 15,000 older people; of these callers, 31% were aged between 75-90 years and 75% were living alone.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Loneliness is a serious issue among older people which is not a new occurrence because of the arrival of COVID-19, really it’s only been exacerbated and we know the long-term impacts of loneliness will continue to affect older people long after the pandemic has passed. It is important that we begin implementing recommendations from the Loneliness Taskforce; currently, there are no structures in place for the protection of older people or funding to relieve the increasing effect of loneliness being felt across the Country.”

He continued, “We ask that members of the public continue to reach out and check in with older people. Just a few minutes out of your day, to make a phone call or safe visit, could absolutely #ChangeOneDay for an older person, particularly if they are struggling with loneliness. We are encouraging any older person who is experiencing loneliness to get in touch with ALONE. Our staff and volunteers are on-hand to provide ongoing telephone support for older people and make regular phone calls for reassurance and social support.”

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.


[1] National Institute on Aging. 2019. Social Isolation, Loneliness In Older People Pose Health Risks. [online] Available at: <https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/social-isolation-loneliness-older-people-pose-health-risks> [Accessed 16 July 2020].

‘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.