‘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.