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.

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

Lord Mayor launches ALONE and Dublin City Council Cold Weather Initiative

Dublin, 4 December 2020   Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside the Mansion House today. Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí, Dublin Fire Brigade is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

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

She continued, “The Cold Weather Initiative represents the community and the entire city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year. I am confident that local communities will respond with kindness, compassion and goodness to support older people throughout the winter.”

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

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

Moynihan continued, “We have services all across the country that can offer advice and assistance to those in need of additional supports this winter. According to reports from TILDA – The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, around 1 in 10 older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or mildew. We encourage anyone who may be concerned about their own wellbeing or someone else’s to reach out for assistance from ALONE if needed. We want people to know that ALONE is here to help with any problems they may have this winter season, from housing conditions to loneliness.”

Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community. For more information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, visit www.alone.ie.

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

Coca-Cola donates €30,000 to ALONE to help battle loneliness this Christmas

  • Coca-Cola is donating €30,000 to support ALONE services this Christmas and is asking young people around the country to connect safely with an older person and share a video, image or a story about it on social media using #CokexALONE to inspire others to do the same.

3rd December: Although Christmas in 2020 will be a little different, Coca-Cola is here to remind people that the connections we make during the festive season are more important than ever before. Between March and November this year there have been over 37,037 calls to ALONE National Support Line. Of those calling, a staggering 75% live alone**. As we head into the festive season, many older people will miss the social side of Christmas and have fewer opportunities to connect with others.It is safe to say young people have been affected in similar ways – many cut off from friends with less opportunities for social interactions, while losing the independence they once had. The past year has been tough; however, it has allowed many Irish people to readjust their priorities and understand the importance of being present and connected with one another.

Coca-Cola has partnered with ALONE to help battle loneliness by encouraging young people around the country to connect safely with an older person by giving the gift of themselves. Whether it’s your great aunt who you haven’t seen since the last family occasion, a neighbour you know is living alone or someone in the community you see from a distance in the local shop – make an effort to reach out and connect with them safely this Christmas and have a mutually beneficial experience. Did you know just 10 minutes of social interaction boosts brain function? A letter, a call, a quick Facetime, or a simple chat from the front garden wall can help lift the spirits of an older people to feel connected to their community. Coca-Cola and ALONE are asking people to share a video, image or a story about the connections they make with an older person on social media using #CokexALONE throughout the month of December, to inspire others to do the same. To the loneliest among us, just a small pocket of your time is the most priceless gift you can give.

ALONE & Coca-Cola have seven top tips on how best to connect safely with older people this Christmas;

  1. Check in with older neighbours, friends, and relatives to ensure they are warm and have enough supplies to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
  2. As the evenings are getting dark so early, give an older person a little check in call to make sure they are okay.
  3. Consider checking in on an older person closer to Christmas Day to ensure they have everything they need and if they don’t, link them in with ALONE.
  4. Simply say Good Morning or Hello when passing an Older Person: even if they do not reply they will still get a kick out of hearing it! Remember they were you and you will one day be them.
  5. At a bus stop? Waiting in a Supermarket queue? Try saying something simple to them; chat about the weather, or give a compliment – lovely hat, your hair looks fab, getting all set for Christmas?
  6. Knock on the door of an older neighbour. Tell them who you are, and where you are from. Ask if there is anything they need or would like? “Are you a mince pie fan maybe?”
  7. If you see someone having a rest on their walk home, engage them in conversation – “Taking a break?” “Is it a long walk?” “If you would like some help, I am going that way too.”

Coca-Cola has always been part of what makes Christmas magical. This year, you can add your own sprinkle of magic to someone’s life in no time at all by sharing stories of connection on #CokexAlone

Mícheál O’Muircheartaigh, Coca-Cola and ALONE Ambassador said: The past year has been tricky for both older and younger people as we have been trying our best to keep our distance and having fewer social interactions. It is more important than ever that people in communities across Ireland connect with one another. I am delighted to work with Coca-Cola and ALONE on this campaign as it is an issue close to my heart. I know that many older people, myself included may feel isolated at times and I hope that people make the effort and reach out to someone who needs to most this Christmas and beyond. It is a great gift to both give and receive”.

Demi Isaac Oviawe, Coca-Cola and ALONE Ambassador said: I am honoured to be working with Coca-Cola and ALONE to help encourage young people to give the gift of themselves this Christmas. Using a small piece of your time to connect with an older person can really make a difference. Mícheál and I have had great fun chatting over the past few weeks – he’s even taught me how to make his iconic ham sandwiches. I will be keeping a close eye on #CokexALONE and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the connections being made across the country, I’m hoping a huge amount of people will join us so we can really make a change”.

Karen O’Shea, Marketing Manager at Coca-Cola Ireland said: “Christmas this year may look a little different, but giving the gift of yourself could have a huge impact on those who need it most. We are delighted to donate €30,000 in an effort to help battle loneliness this Christmas. To support this we’re asking as many people as possible to give the gift of themselves to an older person, while also supporting ALONE’s services. Coca-Cola employees from around the country will also have the opportunity to attend a virtual event hosted by ALONE so we can learn more about the great work ALONE does throughout the year. Let’s make a difference together.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said: ALONE are delighted to partner with Coca-Cola this Christmas, to highlight the value of shared connections and solidarity across the generations. People of all ages will miss the closeness of social events at Christmas this year. For many older people, the lack of social interaction is all too familiar, throughout the year. Thanks to Coca-Cola we hope new connections and friendships will be made to share some of the joy of Christmas.”

Dr Sabina Brennan – Author 100 Days to a Younger Brain said: “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. Social interaction is a partnership that benefits everyone involved so both young and old will reap the physical, mental and brain health rewards of social support. Younger adults who connect socially with older adults tend to hold more positive attitudes towards older adults and ageing and so may well help to tackle ageism. Long periods of isolation can lead to social withdrawal and all the negative health implications

associated with that. Please do make the effort to reach out and connect with an older person. It is great that Coca-Cola and ALONE are helping the larger societal issue of loneliness this Christmas. You will benefit too, just 10 minutes social interaction boosts brain function.”

86-year-old retired journalist and ALONE services user Brian Rothery spoke about the importance of the work that ALONE does, he said;I recently lost my sight and had to move out of my farmhouse in Wexford and I was wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was delighted to be connected to the lovely Carley through ALONE. It means everything to me, she helps me with my podcasts, which I post regularly on Spotify and YouTube. I feel more needs to be done by the community to help older people stay connected, especially during the pandemic. It is great that Coca-Cola and ALONE are bringing awareness to this issue and I’m looking forward to seeing all the pictures and stories online in the lead up to Christmas”.

As part of Coca-Cola’s support for ALONE, five young influential faces from around the country will be helping by encouraging their followers to give the gift of themselves and connect with an older person who needs it the most this Christmas. Model Holly Carpenter, Rising Social Media StarReece Creed andSinger SongwriterErica Cody in ROI and Cool FM DJ Rebecca McKinney and Travel BloggerFran McKee in NI, will be documenting their own journey of connecting with an older person during the month of December. Follow their Instagram pages throughout the month of December to see the undeniable benefits of that all-important connection!

VODAFONE IRELAND LAUNCHES THE ALONE ‘GIFT OF CONNECTION’ APPEAL

Vodafone Ireland has today announced its Christmas charity initiative, the ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal, as part of its partnership with ALONE, an organisation that supports older people in Ireland.

The initiative encourages Vodafone customers to trade-in their old mobile phone devices and donate a portion of the trade-in credit. The donations will go towards purchasing new mobile phones for ALONE. As part of its on-going partnership with ALONE, Vodafone Ireland Foundation* will match donations made by customers.  The Vodafone Ireland trade-in programme is part of a company-wide commitment to the planet and an effort to reduce waste and increase the recycling and repurposing of mobile phone devices across Ireland.

Vodafone Ireland’s focus this Christmas is to ensure we all stay connected with one another, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This initiative aims to ensure older members of our communities, in particular, can easily keep in touch with friends and family, emergency response, retailers and more over the coming months.

Vodafone Ireland is encouraging customers trading-in old mobile phone devices, to donate part of the value of the trade-in to the ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal. For every donation made by a customer, Vodafone Ireland Foundation will match this amount. For example, if a customer donates €20 from their device trade-in credit to the ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal, Vodafone Ireland Foundation will also contribute €20, meaning €40 in total will be donated. Funds raised by the initiative will go towards purchasing Nokia 1.3 smartphones for ALONE which will be distributed to older members of our communities around Ireland.

As well as the trade-in service and the ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal, Vodafone stores across Ireland are committed to providing the highest standard of training and awareness for its teams to understand the needs of everyone in our community. Vodafone has introduced changes to improve the in-store experience including free Friday tech appointments for older customers, changes to in-store designs, including additional seating, and the introduction of printed guides for customers so that they can stay informed and connected.

Speaking on the announcement, Liz Roche, Head of Vodafone Foundation Ireland said:

“At Vodafone, connectivity is at the heart of everything we do. As we settle into the winter months in a pandemic, we believe that technology has the power to bring us all closer together, and keep us connected. Organisations like ALONE have been working tirelessly to support older people over the past year, and through the ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal, we want to help them to continue to provide these essential services in our communities. We believe it is vital that we bring our older customers on this digital journey, in terms of access and skills, particularly as we navigate through what will be a very different Christmas this year.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “The ALONE Gift of Connection Appeal by Vodafone is bringing us that one step closer to our dreams of bringing connectivity into the homes of older people. By having customers donate or trade-in their phones, we will in turn be able to give an older person a life-line while being one step closer to their nearest and dearest. At a time when physical connection has been stripped away, Vodafone is giving the gift of communication which fits in with our appeal that technology for an older person can be so empowering, while maintaining their independence and health & wellbeing. We believe in technology and are working towards similar goals in order to pave the way towards peace of mind and security for older people. We are delighted to see this becoming a reality with this initiative.”

*Up to a €5000 limit
  Limit of 500 devices will be distributed by ALONE

‘Give a Helping Hand’ with ALONE this Christmas

Kathryn Thomas is asking the public to reach out and give a helping hand to older people who may be struggling during the festive season

Dublin, 27 November 2020   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has launched their Christmas campaign today, which encourages members of the public to give a helping hand to older friends, neighbours and relatives who may be struggling this Christmas. For many older people, Christmas can be a particularly difficult time of year, made more challenging this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TV Presenter Kathryn Thomas was present at this year’s launch, alongside an older person who uses ALONE’s services, Don Johnson, for some socially distant festive fun!

Since March, ALONE have received over 37,000 calls from older people to their National Support Line. Consequently, ALONE will continue to provide callers with tailored support plans, assisting older people across a range of issues such as health, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and other services and activities to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. ALONE is for all older people, including those who are lonely, isolated, frail or ill, homeless, living in poverty or are facing other difficulties.

Kathryn Thomas launched the organisation’s Christmas Campaign today, to encourage members of the public to give a helping hand to older people in their lives who may be finding the festive season difficult this year, and to consider donating to ALONE this Christmas to ensure that the organisation can continue its work with older people who are struggling during the wintertime.

She stated, “I’m delighted to be helping ALONE launch their Christmas Campaign this year, to spread awareness of such important issues. I admire the work that they do with older people and I’m so happy to be a part of such a positive message. ALONE needs public support to continue providing its valuable services to older people in need all over the country.”

The organisation has noted a remarkable increase in the numbers of people that require their services who previously didn’t in the past year. ALONE has been preparing to support Ireland’s growing ageing population for many years now, and had an actionable agenda to implement long before the arrival of the pandemic. ALONE were prepared to implement these strategies in a matter of months to provide urgent practical supports to older people across the country.

It is imperative that ALONE’s fundraising efforts are allowed to continue in order to cater for the increased numbers of older people who have reached out for support. Although the organisation has reached fundraising targets set for 2020, (based on figures in 2019 and estimated growth for 2020) they now need to surpass this figure to account and accommodate for the additional older people they now support.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “This year we have seen huge growth and connection to thousands of additional older people who may not have previously required our services.

Last year ALONE were supporting just over 5,000 older people; that figure has since grown exponentially to 15,000, a remarkable 300% increase in just 12 months. We want to celebrate all we have accomplished to support older people to date with the support of the public’s support, we look forward to continue towards achieving our strategic goals, so that every older person has the opportunity to age at home, happily and securely with the care and support they need.”

He continued, “We are delighted to be able to help so many older people when they need it most, which would not be possible without the support we receive from the public. We are asking that this support continues, so that we can sustain delivery of important services nationwide. 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.”

Work with ALONE to Give a Helping Hand this Christmas!

To #GiveAHelpingHand with ALONE this Christmas try a selection of the following:

·       Check in with older neighbours, friends and relatives to ensure they are warm and have enough supplies to keep the house at a comfortable temperature

·       Ensure 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 the evenings are getting dark so early, give an older person a little check in call to make sure they’re okay

·       Consider checking in to the older person near Christmas Day 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. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.