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.

One Year On: ALONE reflects on the year milestone since first COVID-19 restrictions were put in place

ALONE’s National Support Line: a gateway to their integrated system of services

Dublin, 10th March 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people is reflecting on a year supporting an increasing number of older people in need amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. One year ago, ALONE’s National Support line became the gateway to their multi-disciplinary supportive services and allowed them to reach a growing cohort of older people in need of support. Their National Support Line quickly became the leading national number for ‘Community Call’, an initiative that links local and national Government with the community and voluntary sectors to provide support to older people and those who are at risk at this time.

As a member organisation of the National Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Subgroup for Vulnerable People, ALONE has worked in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE to provide a coordinated national response to support older people who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19. ALONE’s Strategic Plan outlines the projections of an ageing population and the supports needed in order to cater for a growing age group. Having established clear goals from the outset pre-pandemic, this was key to how ALONE were able to mobilising a rapid response in every county to make sure nobody got left behind.

Today marks one year since the implications and destructive nature of COVID-19 came into play for ALONE. Since March 9th 2020 and around 365 days later, ALONE’s National Support Line has received in excess of 43,429 calls for support. ALONE coordinated the National Support Line to be in operation from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week, ultimately increasing their capabilities as an organisation, to provide support on greater scale. Subsequent to this, ALONE staff and volunteers have placed more than 110,141 calls to older people who have been linked in with their services. The organisation has increased its weekly volume of older people seeking ongoing support as they now assist up to 2,426 older people weekly with challenges spanning across loneliness, health, finance, housing, accessing services, COVID-19 and other issues.

While 75% of callers to ALONE live ALONE, 31% of these callers between 75-90 years of age. ALONE staff have put 9,228support plans in place for those who have called with an issue so that we develop a solution to the problem. ALONE’s support plans can provide a point of contact for access to health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Their Support Coordination services have been transformed through collaborative relationships with the Local Authorities, the Gardaí, the GAA, partners in the Statutory, Community and Voluntary Sectors. ALONE have continuously evolved their relationships with partner organisations stating, without them, they would not have been able to achieve what they have.

The organisation has seen a huge increase to the number of volunteers since the onset of the pandemic, with the total figure currently over 2,645. ALONE has trained 589volunteers to work with older people over the past year, with the first ever online volunteer training taking place on April 10th, 2020. ALONE has also implemented technology to help older people through the pandemic, installing various devices for older people across the country in order to keep them connected and help them through the pandemic. ALONE supplied and installed 356 Assistive Technology devices in 2020 and worked on a partner collaboration resulting in the delivery of 1,068 phones to older people across the Country.  

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE volunteers and staff have been working alongside older people for over forty years now. We grow in strength each and every year with the important relationships we build and services that we develop. For over a year now, our lives have been put on hold as a result of COVID-19, with older people among the worst affected by the impact of the pandemic on their lives. The support we have received from our partner organisations, ambassadors, community groups and individuals since the arrival of COVID-19 in Ireland has been nothing short of extraordinary.”

He continued, “Our National Support Line has been 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. We have accomplished so much over the last year but we are still working with older people who are struggling every day 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.

“COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery plan, ‘The Path Ahead’ does not address older people”

ALONE is urgently requesting a long-term re-emergence programme for older people and those within socially and medically vulnerable groups

Dublin, 8 March 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, are disappointed at the lack of reference to older people in recent Government announcements. The organisation has 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 – ‘The Path Ahead’, and is calling on Government to start developing a re-emergence programme for older people and socially and medically vulnerable groups immediately.

Older people over the age of 70 are the third group to be vaccinated in Ireland’s National Vaccination Programme and the organisation is stating it has never been so timely to have a long-term re-emergence programme underway now as the administration of vaccines to this group has begun just last week.

In order to devise this re-emergence programme, ALONE is urgently requesting the establishment of a stakeholder group for Older Adults in order to protect vulnerable individuals and groups in society while also recognising the growing number of older people who are now, due to COVID-19 restrictions and implications, identified as being part of this group. This group will continually work to establish a plan around a re-emergence programme for older people and those within socially and medically vulnerable groups as we navigate through the next part of our journey with COVID-19. ALONE wants to see this group inclusive of representatives from Civil Society, Healthcare, Age Organisations, supportive groups for Vulnerable Adults and relevant Government Departments while providing a space to address emerging issues.

The organisation is concerned about the physical, mental and social challenges older people will now face as they break their period of social isolation and as their day-to-day lives readjust to a new normal. ALONE wants to establish clear guidance around long and short-term care and additional supports for vulnerable groups such as older people in order to help them navigate a post-COVID world and ensure that they are equipped to return to society when things begin to return to normal. The organisation identifies community groups and activations for older people as integral to a successful re-emergence as they will offer older people vital services within their community. It is imperative that these services are encouraged to resume.

Older people have had to largely withdraw from society, with many postponing important and vital medical check-ups and appointments in order to protect themselves from the virus. ALONE have reported an increase in a wide range of mental health impacts among older people, directly resulting from prolonged periods of social restrictions and isolation. ALONE are aware of time it takes to properly implement plans to encourage change. They are seeking action now, so that older people are protected in the coming months. Older people have suffered huge loss of confidence and there must be a programme in place for their re-emergence.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We are very disappointed that older people were not mentioned in the Government of announcement of COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 – ‘The Path Ahead’. For over a year now our lives have been put on hold as a result of COVID-19. Some older people are among the most vulnerable in our society and it is clear that the pandemic will have detrimental effects on this cohort, as they have had to change the way they live in order to shield themselves from the virus. We must continue to protect our ageing population following the sacrifices that they have made in the past year. We now must ask ourselves, how can we best ensure their safety as they re-emerge from the safety of their homes. We hope to set up a stakeholder group that will ensure that older and vulnerable people are protected throughout the vaccination process and beyond that.”

“By seeking to establish a stakeholder groups to advocate for Older Adults, we will address the issues arising as older people and more vulnerable re-emerge into society and as we navigate through ‘The Path Ahead’ together. While there will be still levels of COVID-19 within the community, we should able to mitigate the risks it will have on vulnerable groups by being prepared, listening to their worries and doubts, assessing the actions that need to be taken and strategising how to implement them as best we can in order to protect these groups. 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.

‘Housing Adaptation Grant falls short of meeting housing needs of older people’, says ALONE

While the charity welcomed the investment, it falls short of the estimated €84.5 million needed to help older people make their homes age-friendly

Dublin, March 5th 2021: ALONE, the charity that supports older people, has today said that the €75 million announced by the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien for the Housing Adaptation Grants falls short of the required investment needed to support older people to make their homes age-friendly. According to a survey report published in June 2018 under the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI), a survey of people aged 55 and over (Gibney, et al., 2018), 55% of older people were experiencing housing facility problems, housing maintenance and housing condition issues.[1] Since 2018 and subsequent to the pandemic, ALONE believe this figure is only increasing.

While the grant is an increase of €2 million on 2020, it is nearly €10 million below what is needed to meet demand of an ageing population.

The fund is administered by local authorities and contains three schemes in the Housing Aid for Older People, the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability and the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme. The aim of these schemes is to support older people, those with a disability and people with mobility issues to adapt their home to make it more suitable, liveable and age-friendly to their needs.

However, research by ALONE shows that an investment of €84.5 million is needed in the form of home adaptation grants specifically to support older people to upgrade existing homes to age-friendly standards[2].

Commenting on the Housing Adaptation Grant, CEO of ALONE Seán Moynihan said; “While ALONE welcomes the €75 million in Housing Adaptation Grant announced, which will no doubt help some people to adapt their homes to suitable living standards, it falls short of the required investment needed to make a meaningful difference to older people given the expected increase in the ageing population in Ireland.

“In our report Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland we have shown that an investment of €84.5 million is needed every year over the next ten years in housing adaptation grants through the Housing Aid for Older People scheme. This is particularly important as the over 60s population in Ireland is to increase from 866,317 in 2016 to over 1.3 million by 2031.

“The Housing Adaptation is just one part of an integrated approach needed to meet the housing needs for older people in Ireland. We need to ensure that schemes to support older people to age at home are adequately resourced and that the right housing options are being developed and invested in.”

From ALONE’s Housing Choices for Older People in Ireland report, a number of housing options and investments are needed over the next ten years to meet the housing needs of the ageing population, including*;

  • 45,905 dedicated social housing units
  • 15,556 shared housing in the community units
  • 36,987 places in residential nursing homes, as part of multi-purpose complexes.

[1] Gibney, S. et al., 2018. Positive ageing in age friendly cities and counties: local indicators report, Dublin: Department of Health.

[2] Via the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme

‘HRB research highlights benefit of Housing with Supports model for older people, says ALONE Dublin,

Dublin, 25th February 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has welcomed the publication of an evidence review by the Health Research Board (HRB) which highlights the benefit of Housing with Support model to support older people age in place. The organisation has previously called for reform of housing and care supports provided to older people, saying the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the flaws and gaps in the current housing system for older people.

The ‘Housing with support for older people’ research shows that the Housing with Support model can result in a good quality of life, allowing older people to care for themselves with minimal support from personal care assistants. The model can also slow the decline of old age or provide better support to those with functional decline to live independently, and reduces inappropriate use of GP and hospital services. There is an increasing demand for this type of supportive housing in Ireland reflective of our ageing population.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “This evidence review highlights the voice of the older person and we need to listen; older people want to live in their own homes and not in institutions.

“One of the core principles of ALONE has always been to protect the right of older people to choose to age at home on their own terms, with access to any additional supports that they may need to ensure a good quality of life. ALONE believe that older people must be involved in decisions on where and how they age so that they can live independently and remain part of their local community”.

He continued, “We have worked with older people who have prematurely moved to nursing homes because they could not get the support they needed to live independently, and older people who are currently living at home and struggling to stay well, because those supports are not available. This research is a huge step in the right direction as it will help start a national conversation around ageing at home and will support development of a policy framework for housing for older people in Ireland.”

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, Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire team up for the launch of the charity’s ‘Love is the Way” Advertisement campaign

The organisation continues to support older people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues

Dublin, 21 February 2021:   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, have teamed up with Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire Dublin to release their ‘Love is the Way’ Advertisement campaign, calling on members of the public to consider donating to ALONE to help them continue their important work with the increased number of older people seeking their support. ALONE work with all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty, or are facing other difficulties.

The advertisement, which features Declan O’Rourke’s track ‘Love is the Way’ seeks to remind people of ALONE’s work with older people over the last year through figures representing the services and supports they’ve provided while also encouraging members of the public to donate €4 by texting ‘ALONE’ to 50300.[1] O’Rourke has provided the track free of charge in support of ALONE’s service andall production, photography and editing was donated too. Donations can also be made online at www.alone.ie

From the beginning of the pandemic in March to December 2020, ALONE have supported 14,863 older people, made 180,675 support calls and engages 2,645 volunteers to work with older people who are experiencing challenges in their lives. The organisation is asking members of the public to consider donating to ALONE so that they can continue their work with older people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team at ALONE are hugely grateful to Declan O’Rourke and Bonfire for their support, and to all members of the public who have donated to help older people over the past year.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan stated “Over the past, year ALONE has seen a huge swell in older people who need our support. Our call now if for people of all ages is to stay in touch with your older family members and neighbours, to check in with them regularly and support them any way that you can in line with the current restrictions. Older people face a range of issues on a daily basis which have only been exacerbated by the current situation, we are asking members of the public to continue supporting their older neighbours, friends and relatives as much as possible until the threat of COVID-19 has passed.”

Moynihan continued, “Older people need our support now more than ever, so we are delighted to be working with Bonfire and Declan O’Rourke to produce this advertisement. The figures that display on the screen throughout the video clip are only a token of the work conducted by staff and volunteers in the last year and being every number is a real human being who has received support from ALONE.”

Declan O’Rourke, contributor to ALONE’s Love is the Way video, “As someone who knows (through family and friend’s firsthand experience) the truly magnificent work ALONE do, I can say I’m extremely proud to be a part of this drive to raise awareness, and much needed funds to help their fantastic volunteers continue the amazing work they’re doing – in these times, and indeed in any other.”

ALONE are encouraging all older people to get in touch via their National Support Line which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.


[1] Text costs €4. ​ALONE will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.

Supporting Older people in the Community Together

Do you work with older persons living in Baldoyle, Donabate, Howth, Oldtown, Portrane, Malahide, Portmarnock, Sutton & Swords?

ALONE in partnership with the ICTOP (Integrated Care Team for Older Persons) invite your service to attend a virtual event for service providers on 11th March 2021 – 10am – 11:30am. By attending this event you will:

  • Network with different services and organisations providing services to support older people to age well at home.
  • Inform attendees about what supports your service or organisation is currently offering.
  • Consider how services can work together across acute, community, voluntary and statutory to support older people.

To register your place for this event, click on the following link

Please note that spaces are limited so registration by Thursday the 4th of March is required.

For more information about the event please contact Caroline Muller Wallace at [email protected] or Patrice Reilly at [email protected]