‘Benefit Payment a step towards closing pension gap for older people’, says ALONE

The charity stressed that the payment itself is below what people are entitled to, at €203

Dublin, 8th February 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports and empowers older people, has welcomed Benefit Payment for older people who are in limbo between their employment being ceased at 65 and reaching the retirement age of 66. The organisation is encouraged by the eligibility requirements that a person in receipt of this payment will not be required to be available for full-time work or genuinely seeking work and they will not be required to sign on to the Live Register.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE are feeling hopeful to see some progress for plan of this payment to older people who are between two milestones in their life. €203 provides some form of transitional payment for those who must retire at 65, but we must stress that this is below what people who have worked their entire lives are entitled to, while also being below the poverty line.”

He continued, “Currently, the Poverty rate sits at €284.46 for one adult.[1] We can see that this payment is only a step towards closing the pension gap for those who are forced to retire at 65. ALONE are hopeful to see further progress in this area to ensure this cohort of retirees are not plunged into poverty because of the low-rate.”

Older people who are in receipt of this payment will not have a break in their social insurance record and the credits they receive account for other social welfare purposes such as the contributory State Pension. Individuals can access the forms to apply via mywelfare.ie and for those who have no access to a printer you can request for the forms to be posted via email [email protected].

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] https://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/attach/publication/6310/2020-05-18-sjipovertyfocusmay2020final.pdf?cs=true

ALONE & Leinster Rugby Announce Partnership

Both organisations are championing that community and inclusion are the remedies to loneliness for all ages

8th February 2021   Leinster Rugby has today announced ALONE as its latest charity affiliate as part of its charity partner programme for the 2020/21 season. The organisations are using their shared ethos to highlight the value of community and inclusion at a time when we all need it most. The key to ALONE and Leinster Rugby’s partnership is the importance of participation spanning across community, inclusion, physical activity and mental health. With ALONE operating as a national organisation that supports and empowers older people to age at home, Leinster Rugby aim for this collaboration to celebrate the work they do in the Leinster region and further afield across the Country.

As a national charity, ALONE provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support, and assistive technology. The organisation use support plans, 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.

In March 2020, ALONE saw the need to provide a National Support service and established their National Support Line which operates seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Since then they have received over 41,000 calls into the line and in 2020 supported roughly 15,000 older people nationwide. Over 3,000 of those older people are being supported in Leinster.

Leinster Rugby will use its considerable digital platforms over the month of February to highlight the fantastic work that ALONE do in our communities but in particular during COVID-19 and the increasing need for support. Leinster Rugby will support ALONE activities over the month of February bringing a particular focus on their efforts to support older people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking this morning to leinsterrugby.ie, Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Community and partnerships is at the heart of the work that ALONE do and we are delighted to have been approached by Leinster Rugby to work alongside one another to champion community and inclusion as a remedy for loneliness across all ages. Communication is key to feeling included and expressing your feelings is important to check in with yourself. We are encouraging older people to reach out and talk when you are experiencing feelings of loneliness as people are here to listen.”

He continued to say, “Through our own channels and now Leinster Rugby’s community, we are reaching out to older people to keep participating and to be engaged in their lives. We are encouraging the message of ‘Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving’ to young and old in Leinster and across the Country. Participation is essential to living a healthy and balanced life and both organisations are here to remind older people to reach out and the general public to check in.”

On behalf of Leinster Rugby, Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity programme, said, “ALONE do tremendous work in our communities already but I think we have seen over the last 12 months the demand for their support structures increase hugely and we are delighted to be able to help over the next month to draw attention to those issues.

“In the last year ALONE has received over 41,000 calls for support and the COVID-19 National Support Line in particular has helped almost 15,000 older people in our communities. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and hopefully, with this partnership, we can help support the great work that ALONE are doing.”

Like all of the charities selected, ALONE was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with our premium sponsors and partners and the Official Leinster Supporters Club. Two premium partners of Leinster Rugby, Bank of Ireland and BearingPoint, have also pledged their support to the charities chosen. Bank of Ireland have confirmed that their Player of the Month Award donation will now be made to the monthly charity affiliate, rather than the player in question, a move that is also supported by the Leinster Rugby players. In addition, BearingPoint have also agreed to make a donation to each charity partner chosen by Leinster Rugby in lieu of support normally provided to the club pre-COVID.

If you are concerned about your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone you know please contact ALONE’s National Support Line on 0818 222 024 which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

It’s ‘Time to Talk’ with ALONE

ALONE has highlighted the increased loneliness among older people as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Dublin, 3 February 2021:    ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, is encouraging older people to reach out and strike up a conversation especially if they are feeling particularly isolated at the moment due to the extension of COVID-19 restrictions. The organisation has campaigned in this area for many years and are highlighting the concerns they have when it comes to loneliness, as its effects take hold and expand across a wider and new cohort of older people. ALONE are concerned by the increased impact loneliness is having which they can measure in their increased demand for their supports. Today, they are asking the public to continue to make time to talk and stay in touch with their older relatives, neighbours and friends.

While ALONE acknowledges that current guidelines are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable groups, ALONE have already reported an increase in a wide range of mental health impacts among older people. The organisation has relayed the message that although we may be socially distanced, we don’t want anyone to feel socially isolated. With many of these growing issues having been identified pre-pandemic, older people have now been experiencing prolonged periods of isolation and limited social contact for almost one year. ALONE would like to remind older people that their services continue to be available to any older person who needs advice or support during this time.

A new study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital found that almost 40% of participants reported that their mental health was worse or much worse since they began restricting their movements and that more than 57% of participants reported loneliness at least some of the time.[1] 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[2]. Studies have linked loneliness and social isolation to higher risks of physical and mental conditions, including heart disease, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2020, ALONE made nearly 139,000 Support and Befriending calls to older people suffering from loneliness and social isolation. Between the 9th of March and the 31st of December, ALONE supported nearly 15,000 older people. Of these callers, 31% were aged between 75-90 years and 75% were living alone. Based on 2016 Census figures, there were approximately 876,423 people aged over 60 living in Ireland, a figure which is expected to grow to 1.42 million by 2031.

For some older people, loneliness is an unfamiliar issue, which will cease to affect them with community supports; for others, unfortunately this is an ongoing state of being. ALONE are determined to ensure every older person has access to the supports that they need to combat loneliness and live a happy and fulfilled life. If someone calls or is referred to ALONE, the organisation can arrange to contact an older person several times a week or every day if this support is needed, with this service set to continue after the current crisis.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Loneliness is a serious issue among older people which has only been exacerbated by the current situation, and we believe the long-term impacts of loneliness will continue to affect older people long after the pandemic has passed. When the effects of the pandemic begin to subside, 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 begin felt across the Country.”

He continued, “We appreciate the efforts people have made to reach out and check in with older people while also recognising how brave older people have been to reach out, we encourage them to continue seeking out and making conversation. Just a few minutes out of your day, to make time to talk, could make a world of difference to an older person struggling with loneliness. We are encouraging any older person who is experiencing loneliness to get in touch with ALONE. Our volunteers provide ongoing telephone support for older people and make regular phone calls for reassurance and social support.”

Dr. Sabina Brennan, neuroscientist and psychologist, stated, “Now more than ever we need to ensure that we stay socially connected. Human connection is inextricably linked to our physical mental and brain health. Loneliness is not just an unpleasant experience it is quite literally a killer. In fact, it is as detrimental to our health as smoking and obesity. Loneliness increases our risk for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and suicide. Loneliness is essentially a chronic stressor that weakens the immune system. So while keeping a physical distance from others can offer protection against COVID-19, isolating completely can actually make you more susceptible to infection.”

She continued to say, “Social engagement is a complex, stimulating activity that keeps our brains sharp. People who remain socially connected, live longer, have better health, are less depressed and are less likely to develop dementia. Long periods of isolation can lead to social withdrawal and all of the negative health implications associated with that. So make sure that you stay connected and do whatever you can to reach out to others who may be at risk. You will benefit too, just 10 minutes social interaction boosts brain function.”

ALONE Ambassador Vincent Browne commented, “During these trying times it is important to reach out to the older people in our lives and strike up a conversation. Many of us are struggling at the moment and a chat can really help to lift a person’s spirits. I would encourage any older person who is feeling a bit down to reach out to the people in their lives and make time to talk”

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] https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/advance-article/doi/10.1093/qjmed/hcab015/6104561

[2] 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].

Christmas FM raises €284,000 for ALONE to enable the charity to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland

27 January 2021

Christmas FM, the popular radio station that is seen by many as the official soundtrack to the festive season, is delighted to announce that it has raised €284,107.12 for ALONE, their chosen charity for 2020.

This figure has well surpassed the original goal of €200,000, which would have enabled ALONE to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland enabling them to live happily and independently in their own homes and communities. The extra funds raised means that ALONE will be in a position to give even more help to those who need it, including practical supports such as access to all of ALONE’s services, befriending and adaptions to an older person’s home to allow them to age at home.

The 2020 fundraising figure brings to over €2.5 million the total amount the radio station has raised for a range of charities since its inception in 2008. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and donations go directly to the charity partner. The station is run each year by a core management team, assisted by more than 100 volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

Paul Shepherd, Co-founder of Christmas FM, says: “We are delighted to have raised just over €284,000 for ALONE this year. We couldn’t have done it without our loyal listeners who tuned in and donated so generously to ALONE. We’re also thankful to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for granting us the license to broadcast and our premier FM sponsors for the year – Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post. We would also like to thank the Ballsbridge Hotel who have, once again, provided us with a home for our radio studio. As ever, we are so grateful to the team and the volunteers who help make Christmas FM happen by assisting with the day to day running of the station – we couldn’t do it without each and every one of you!”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE says: “ALONE are honoured to have been selected as Christmas FM’s charity partner for 2020. We are so proud of the collaborative efforts between ALONE older people, volunteers, staff and the entire team at Christmas FM. Although donation day was the key focus of the entire partnership, I want to congratulate everyone involved for the months of hard work that went into telling the story of ALONE. There wasn’t a more appropriate year to use a tagline ‘Give the Gift of Home’ as our homes became our safe place during a worldwide pandemic. The kind donations generated through this partnership will help ALONE empower and enable older people to remain in their homes for as long as they wish. As we all know this is important now more than ever. Thank you!”

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) grants Christmas FM a 30-day temporary sound broadcasting license, which enables the station to broadcast on a range of frequencies throughout the country.

BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, said: “I would like to congratulate the team at Christmas FM for another fantastic fundraising result. Radio continues to be hugely popular in Ireland and its value as a medium to bring people together is once again shown by the success of Christmas FM – and the generosity of its listeners  – in raising more than €284,000 in just 30 days for ALONE.”

This year, Christmas FM was generously sponsored by the premier FM sponsors Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post. Christmas FM was broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin who kindly gave the space for free.

Christmas FM is still available online at

www.christmasfm.com

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

ALONE seeks clarity on Ireland’s vaccination strategy and implementation for older people

The organisation has reported many callers who are dissatisfied with the information available on the vaccination

Dublin, 25 January 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports and empowers older people, is seeking clarity on Ireland’s vaccination strategy and implementation for older people addressing the importance of quality for access. The organisation is taking action after one in five of calls into their National Support Line in the past week concern general COVID-19 related queries, COVID-19 vaccination and testing questions and the restrictions that concern older people as Level 5 looks to continue well into February.

Of these COVID-19 calls, roughly half of these older people were specifically asking about when they would be receiving the vaccine. One caller to the ALONE National Support Line was dissatisfied at the knowledge provided by the Government around the vaccination rollout. The HSE website currently displays, “You do not need to contact us to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We will let you know when you can register to get the vaccine through an invitation from your healthcare team, news or public advertising.”[1]

ALONE also believe that keeping to the promise of the rollout timeline is essential to support the reintegration of older people in society. The organisation is seeking clear instructions to be issued by the Government as guidance, in addressing who will contact older people and when. ALONE are appealing for the strategy to be adhered to and for those who are more vulnerable to receive the vaccine in the estimated timeframe. ALONE have received a number of reports of phone scams relating to the administration of the vaccination in homes, which only drives the need for clarity of information.  

Seán Moynihan, CEO ALONE said, “The current directions for older people on when they can avail of the COVID-19 vaccine are not clear enough. If an invitation is extended to older people via news or public advertising, we need clear step-by-step guidance on where older people are to revert to in order to book in for their first vaccination. There must be easy directions on what to do when you have received the vaccine and when to return for your second administration. The recent texting and calling scams about vaccine distribution and administration are cause for concern.”

He continued, “It is vitally important to ensure that Government sticks to the rollout plan that they have announced and prioritise older people for this vaccine, so that we can keep this promise to our older people who have already been through so much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we must ensure that older people are provided with sufficient guidance and clear information about their upcoming vaccinations.”

If you are concerned about your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone you know please contact ALONE’s National Support Line on 0818 222 024 which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.


[1] https://www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/getting-covid-19-vaccine.html

Bid Adieu to feeling Blue with ALONE

The organisation encourages older people to reach out and for members of the public to check in on Blue Monday

Dublin, 18 January 2021   ALONE, the organisation which supports older people, wants you to Bid Adieu to feeling Blue on what has been labelled as the toughest day of the year. The organisation has voiced its concern regarding older people’s mental health as ‘Blue Monday’, Monday 18th January, approaches as we reach the height of the third restrictive phase since COVID-19 arrived in Ireland. The organisation is calling on members of the public to continue supporting their older friends, neighbours and relatives who may be finding things difficult under renewed Level 5 restrictions.

ALONE are encouraging older people to incite the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’. They hope to educate older people on how to mind their mental health as we navigate through the remaining Winter months whilst living with restrictive movements.

  1. Connect

ALONE encourage older individuals to pick up the phone to their friends, neighbours and relatives to try and curb feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Although we must be apart, the organisation want older people to still feel connected.

ALONE have also suggested a number of ways in which members of the public can safely support the older people in their lives, for example; regular phone calls to lift their spirits, offering to pick up groceries, prescriptions or other essentials and checking in to ensure they are warm and have enough fuel to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. The organisation want to ensure older people are feeling connected to the world at a time when our usual modes of communication have been stripped away.

  • Be Active

Seek out ways to remain active although you may be spending more time indoors. ALONE is encouraging older people to keep to a routine, stay active and exercise outside during daylight hours where possible, however the organisation has also urged them to be careful while out walking. Long periods of physical inactivity may result in deconditioning and loss of muscle mass, resulting in 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.

  • Take Notice

Take notice to the world around you. When you are spending time outdoors, take notice to the smells, sounds and experience you are having. Take a second to listen to your thoughts and seek out support if you are experiencing feelings of worry, anxiousness or even just want somebody to talk to. If you are having concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know, ALONE’s National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024.

  • Keep Learning

Keep your mind busy and learn. Learning helps to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Try learning a new dish, baking a tasty treat, become a pen-pal so somebody in your life or journal the thoughts that come to your mind each morning and night. Make a pact with a friend to give them a call once a week while you share parts of your learning journey with each other. This will keep you staying connected while doing something you enjoy.

  • Give

Commit to an act of kindness onto another individual once a week or if you can manage, once a day. By helping others, you are directly helping yourself and making someone else happy in the process.

While ALONE understands the necessity of the current restrictions to protect older and vulnerable individuals, the organisation has expressed concern regarding the long-term impacts of isolating and social distancing on older people’s mental and physical health. Many older people have had to deal with loneliness, social isolation and anxiety as they withdrew from society to protect themselves from the virus. The organisation is urging older people to practise the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ as Level 5 restrictions continue in response to increases in cases of COVID-19.

ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan stated, “While we understand the importance of keeping older people safe from COVID-19, we also recognise the negative effects of the pandemic on the older people in our society. We are encouraging older people to mind their mental health in the coming weeks and to develop a routine which will help them to stay positive during these difficult times. Even something as small as calling a friend, going for a short walk or practicing a hobby can make a world of difference when it comes to mental wellbeing.”

Moynihan continued, “Since last March, the situation with COVID-19 has been difficult for all of us, but unfortunately older people are among the groups most affected by the pandemic. The level of support we have seen from members of the public so far has been amazing, and we hope to keep this momentum up until COVID-19 is a thing of the past. We are reminding older people that there is light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines are rolled out across the country and that if we all continue to follow the guidelines to keep each other safe, we will get through the coming weeks together.”

Contact ALONE’s National Support Line on 0818 222 024 which is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie. If you want to join in on the conversation share your journey on the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ with #BidAdieutoFeelingBlue on social media.

ALONE encourage public to check in on older neighbours as weather takes a colder turn

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

Dublin, 8 January 2021   ALONE is urging older people to take extra care as temperatures begin to drop during the cold snap in the coming days.  Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and frosty conditions, especially those living alone or in rural areas, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. Older people may also be struggling under the current Level 5 restrictions, so it is important to reach out to them to ensure that they have everything they need and that they are kept safe and warm this winter. 

Met Éireann has issued a Status Yellow weather warning as “hazardous icy conditions” will hit the country this evening, with an alert for low temperatures and ice in place from 5 pm until 12 noon tomorrow. Temperatures could drop to -8C in some parts of the country tonight, with Met Éireann predicting it may be the coldest night of the year so far.

ALONE is calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need help with grocery shopping, collecting prescriptions or other practical tasks during the bad weather. ALONE is also asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Following a drop in temperatures increased wind and rain and a frost risk, we are advising older people to be prepared by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible. Older people may also be feeling worried due to the current restrictions. Many older people are often embarrassed to reach out, and think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. ALONE want them to know that they deserve the support they require and should not be afraid to ask for help if needed.”

He continued, “We are also calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours 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.”

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 .

ALONE Volunteers’ Spirit of Giving Inspires McDonnells To Give Back This Christmas As Part of Its ‘As Irish As’ Campaign

This year more than ever, ALONE’s Support & Befriending service has been a lifeline for older and more vulnerable people in communities across Ireland. Throughout 2020 and all of its COVID-related challenges, 1400 trained and Garda-vetted volunteers have offered unwavering friendship and companionship, practical assistance and essential support to those who need it most – in many cases through the window or over the phone.

They have been the backbone of the ALONE service during the ongoing pandemic and their incredible work has made a world of difference to those that have experienced it first-hand.  

In acknowledgment of all their work, McDonnells will be delivering a thank you gift to every one of ALONE’s 1400 volunteers around the country.

Announcing McDonnells ‘As Irish As’ Initiative to celebrate the ALONE’s team of volunteers, Barry Synnott, CEO of Boyne Valley Group commented, “For generations, Irish people have been known around the world for our generosity, warmth and spirit. It’s part of our story. It’s how we’ve grown up. It’s who we are, As Irish As. And it’s never been more important. This Christmas will be a different one for everyone, and a difficult one for lots of us. Throughout the year we’ve seen how communities have come together to take care of each other and look after our most vulnerable and isolated. Communities made up of people like ALONE’s 1400 volunteers. They have inspired us to do our bit to help make Christmas a little brighter. On behalf of everyone at McDonnells, we want to say thank you – for the work that they do, for being a friend to our most vulnerable, for being the person that brightens someone’s day or offers practical support and advice. We are thrilled to be working with ALONE to give back to those volunteers and acknowledging the work that they do this Christmas.”

Niall Horan added “The work that ALONE does is invaluable. They ensure that thousands of older people in Ireland can stay living in their own homes whilst feeling connected and safe. These 1,400 amazing volunteers are the lifeline that makes this happen, their selfless generosity deserves to be recognised and I am so grateful to McDonnells for providing each and every one of them with a gift that signals that appreciation. Campaigns like this one are a reminder of how proud it feels to be Irish.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “Volunteering is an intrinsic part to ALONE, a key principle of our vision and is embedded in our history as an organisation. Our volunteers have always been heroes in our eyes but working courageously as front-line staff to meet the needs of older people in their communities, who required help, is admirable. Our numbers in volunteers has been growing every year to respond to the needs of older people. Our volunteers have never let us down. Over the course of the last few months their numbers have swelled to meet the surge in demand of those seeking our support. We are grateful to McDonnells for recognising our ALONE volunteers through their ‘As Irish As’ initiative. Every day our volunteers have been giving the most precious thing they can – time.”

ALONE encourages older people to exercise their own judgement and in their best interest when it comes to gatherings this Christmas

The organisation have reported many older people expressing concerns about social interactions this Christmas

Dublin, 11 December 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, is asking members of the public to be mindful of older people’s concerns, while also respecting their choices, especially if they are apprehensive about seeing friends or relatives over the festive period.

Reports from ALONE’s National Support line and through their Winter check-in calls, suggest that many older people have increased concerns about the usual social activities surrounding the Christmas season. Older people do not want to put themselves at risk and are worried about meeting up with family over the Christmas period. Some have even reported that they are feeling obliged to do so to avoid upsetting family members. Traditionally, where many older people would’ve travelled far and wide to spend the Christmas period with their families, they are choosing to exercise caution and spend the holiday season alone to protect themselves.

ALONE are asking that members of the public respect older people’s wishes when it comes to receiving visitors into their homes and to respect their space when meeting up over the holiday season. ALONE is encouraging members of the public to protect older people in their communities this Christmas by respecting their wishes surrounding plans around Christmas Day and any concerns they may have around COVID-19.

ALONE understands that this has been a challenging year for many older people who have had to make sacrifices to protect themselves from the virus, while the organisation has also noted that older people are among groups considered to be at a high risk for COVID-19.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We understand that this has been a difficult year for older people across the country who have had to take extra precautions to protect themseleves from the virus. We are asking members of the public to consider the older people in their lives by respecting any concerns they may have surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and not pressuring them to attend social gatherings where they may feel anxious or uncomfortable. It’s natural to want to see all of our friends and family at Christmas, but this year things are different, and we will all need to make some changes to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the older people in our lives.”

The organisation are also encouraging older people to stay within a safe ‘bubble’ this Christmas, and to keep in touch via phone calls and socially distant visits to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19.

He continued, “In order to minimise an older person’s chances of coming into contact with a carrier of the virus, we are advising older people to socialise safely within a small group this Christmas and to keep in contact with family and friends via phone where possible. We hope that communities will come together to reach out to older people in need of support or assistance, and, if they need it, to encourage them to pick up the phone and get in touch with ALONE.”

ALONE recently launched their Christmas Campaign, which encourages members of the public to Give a Helping Hand to the older people in their lives this Christmas. There are a number of ways you can safely support older people this winter, by checking in with older neighbours, friends and relatives to ensure they are warm and have enough fuel to keep the house at a comfortable temperature, or ensuring that on very cold, Winter days that older people in your life have enough supplies in the home to deter them from going out in dangerous conditions.

As Christmas draws nearer, the organisation are asking members of the community to check in with the older person in their lives to ensure they have everything they need and if they don’t, link them in with ALONE.

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 encourages older people to exercise their own judgement and in their best interest when it comes to gatherings this Christmas

The organisation have reported many older people expressing concerns about social interactions this Christmas

Dublin, 11 December 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, is asking members of the public to be mindful of older people’s concerns, while also respecting their choices, especially if they are apprehensive about seeing friends or relatives over the festive period.

Reports from ALONE’s National Support line and through their Winter check-in calls, suggest that many older people have increased concerns about the usual social activities surrounding the Christmas season. Older people do not want to put themselves at risk and are worried about meeting up with family over the Christmas period. Some have even reported that they are feeling obliged to do so to avoid upsetting family members. Traditionally, where many older people would’ve travelled far and wide to spend the Christmas period with their families, they are choosing to exercise caution and spend the holiday season alone to protect themselves.

ALONE are asking that members of the public respect older people’s wishes when it comes to receiving visitors into their homes and to respect their space when meeting up over the holiday season. ALONE is encouraging members of the public to protect older people in their communities this Christmas by respecting their wishes surrounding plans around Christmas Day and any concerns they may have around COVID-19.

ALONE understands that this has been a challenging year for many older people who have had to make sacrifices to protect themselves from the virus, while the organisation has also noted that older people are among groups considered to be at a high risk for COVID-19.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We understand that this has been a difficult year for older people across the country who have had to take extra precautions to protect themseleves from the virus. We are asking members of the public to consider the older people in their lives by respecting any concerns they may have surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and not pressuring them to attend social gatherings where they may feel anxious or uncomfortable. It’s natural to want to see all of our friends and family at Christmas, but this year things are different, and we will all need to make some changes to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the older people in our lives.”

The organisation are also encouraging older people to stay within a safe ‘bubble’ this Christmas, and to keep in touch via phone calls and socially distant visits to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19.

He continued, “In order to minimise an older person’s chances of coming into contact with a carrier of the virus, we are advising older people to socialise safely within a small group this Christmas and to keep in contact with family and friends via phone where possible. We hope that communities will come together to reach out to older people in need of support or assistance, and, if they need it, to encourage them to pick up the phone and get in touch with ALONE.”

ALONE recently launched their Christmas Campaign, which encourages members of the public to Give a Helping Hand to the older people in their lives this Christmas. There are a number of ways you can safely support older people this winter, by checking in with older neighbours, friends and relatives to ensure they are warm and have enough fuel to keep the house at a comfortable temperature, or ensuring that on very cold, Winter days that older people in your life have enough supplies in the home to deter them from going out in dangerous conditions.

As Christmas draws nearer, the organisation are asking members of the community to check in with the older person in their lives to ensure they have everything they need and if they don’t, link them in with ALONE.

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.