COUNCIL PARTNERS WITH ALONE TO HELP OLDER PEOPLE DURING CRISIS

The organisation which supports older people is working with a number of partner organisations to align its support services for older people

PRESS RELEASE

Dublin, Tuesday 24th March Dublin City Council has announced a new partnership with ALONE to provide support and assistance to older people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with Pobal and the Dublin City Age Friendly Alliance, these partner organisations will be working together to align with the sector, streamline requests for help, and ensure that vulnerable older people across the country receive the support and assistance that they need.

ALONE currently operates a national support line for older people that was set up in collaboration with the HSE and the Department of Health. The line is active from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, and has received more than 3,300 calls to date.

Commenting on the partnership the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Tom Brabazon, stated “While we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we look after the members of society who are most at risk. The reality for a lot of elderly people in this situation is that they are too scared to go outside in case they come into contact with a carrier of the disease and fall ill with the virus. By working together, we can ensure that when these older people call the support line they are given the advice and help that they need by a trained staff member.”

The support line is to be a single point of contact from which all requests can be assessed and processed appropriately. This will be achieved by bringing together An Garda Síochána, community partners, volunteers and Dublin City Council to provide a national response and create a model that other groups and local authorities can replicate. The organisations will work together to ensure that all staff and volunteers providing supports are fully trained and Garda vetted, and adhere to best practice guidelines for dealing with older people. The group will also work towards developing long term relationships in the event of other crises in the future and to main a link with the older people in our community.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “The main requests that our phone operators are getting at the moment are for information and daily contact but as we move to the next phase there is increasing demand for deliveries of food, medication and fuel, which are things that most people take for granted. We hope that this partnership will enable us to increase the levels of support that we already offer to older people across the country, who may be feeling scared or isolated due to the necessary health restrictions imposed to stop the spread of Coronavirus. We are already working with multiple partners and going forward we will involve other organisations to help address health and wellbeing issues.”

ALONE are working to add other local authorities to this partnership. Several other County Councils have indicated their interest and it is hoped that this partnership can provide a model of how the community and voluntary sector can work together with the local authorities throughout this crisis.

Beatrice Casserly who heads up the Dublin City Age Friendly Programme added, “Many older people are self-isolating as a precautionary measure to avoid contracting Coronavirus, however this can make everyday tasks such as grocery shopping or collecting prescriptions impossible. With the introduction of a streamlined support service, we can ensure that these people are looked after

when they most need it. Until the curve has been flattened and it is safe for normal life to resume, our organisations will work together to protect the vulnerable members of our community.”

Assistant Commissioner Orla McPartlin, An Garda Síochána stated, “An Garda Síochána is pleased to support this worthwhile initiative between ALONE and Dublin City Council by providing as much support as possible during these challenging times. I wish to reaffirm the public commitment made by Deputy Commissioner John Twomey on behalf of An Garda Síochána to support the most vulnerable in our society, particularly our elderly and isolated. An Garda Síochána has always worked closely with our communities and we continue to do so in these extraordinary times. We look forward to the continued collaborative efforts with local authorities and community groups such as Alone and others.”

Bag packing in aid of ALONE

ALONE are holding a bag packing day on Saturday the 20th of October in SuperValu Dun Laoghaire.

We are looking for volunteers to help for 2 or 3 hours between 10am to 6pm. This will include packing bags at tills and holding buckets.

If you are interested in helping out email [email protected] with your name, number and the times you can volunteer between.

Thank you!

Fundraising in aid of charity | ALONE

The Bucket List Project

The Ink Factory and ALONE are organising a fundraising event called The Bucket List Project, to tackle ageism in Ireland.

The project includes a series of videos from 5 older people who will be getting tattoos from The Ink Factory on the 9th of September.

Throughout the videos, each older person describes their situation before contacting ALONE such as suffering from homelessness, loneliness or financial difficulties. They then go onto talk about how ALONE has helped them and what tattoo they will be getting as part of The Bucket List Project.

To sponsor our amazing older people, please donate HERE.

Donations to the page will help ALONE to continue supporting older people to age at home. You will also be entered into a competition to win a free full day sitting tattoo.

See each persons video below.

Also hear from The Ink Factory and ALONE CEO, Seán Moynihan.

VHI Mini Marathon in aid of ALONE

Registration for the VHI Mini Marathon is now open!

We are looking for people to take part in the VHI Mini Marathon in aid of ALONE.

This year the marathon takes place on Sunday, 3rd of June at 2pm. The 10km walk/run will start at Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2 and finish on Pembroke road.

To take part in the event, register at https://www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie/ and email [email protected] to let us know your registered. That way we can send you out your sponsor cards and T-shirts!

Check out our video below, where Amy explains how she got involved in the VHI Mini Marathon, why she choose ALONE and how she sponsors.

 

ALONE welcomes homecare consultation but stresses need for comprehensive services

6th July 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home welcomes the introduction of a public consultation process on a new statutory homecare scheme announced by Minister for Older People, Jim Daly, today. ALONE also stress that a more rounded home support system should be put in place for older people and carers.

CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan has said: “We believe in the need to redress homecare but there is also a requirement to treat all parts of an older person’s life. Without a wrap-around of services, any new homecare scheme would fail.”

Moynihan continued, “ALONE is focused on the development of well-rounded supports for older people in Ireland. As the ageing population increases, we can expect further demands on supports. It is estimated that approximately 20% of those over 65 already receive a form of support service from the State. While we welcome this move by Minister Daly to establish a new affordable and sustainable homecare scheme, we urge that a comprehensive approach be taken. ALONE also calls on the Minister to disclose an outlined timeline for the consultation process and how he intends the process to operate.”

ALONE is keen to participate in the development of this new statutory homecare scheme and work with all stakeholders to make any new scheme a success and meet the needs of older people.

ALONE believes that only with this agenda, the participation of the wider community, and an increase in annual funding, can a significant homecare scheme be sustainable.

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to older people nationwide. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

For more information contact:

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, [email protected], 01 668 0600, 0852336033

ALONE calls on public to visit older people this Friendship Week 13th-17th February

Dublin, 13th February 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is highlighting the importance of their Befriending Service during Friendship Week 2017 (13th-17th February). ALONE believes that Befriending can act as a preventative health measure in tackling the effects of loneliness among older people.

In Ireland, one third of older people over 65 live alone and 60% of people aged over 80 live alone. In recent years, a wide range of studies have shown that isolation and loneliness affect the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of an individual. With the number of over-65s living in Ireland expected to increase to 1.4 million by 2046, ALONE is reminding the general public to extend the hand of friendship to the older members of their communities this Friendship Week.

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “It is vitally important that as we age we maintain strong links with our local community. Older people need good services of a consistent quality, to ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks and become isolated from other people”.

ALONE’s Befriending Service provides companionship to over 500 older people who are socially isolated through a weekly volunteer visit as well as a range of social events. ALONE are continually developing the service to ensure that all older people who require it will have access to a quality assured Befriending Service.

Sean Moynihan commented, “As an organisation that works with older people, we see firsthand the effects of loneliness. I don’t think that people are aware just how devastating loneliness can be for your general health. Not only can loneliness lead to depression, but it is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased immune system responsiveness. Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

He continued “Many older people think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. We want them to know that they deserve more than a little help and support and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.”

Befriending Network Ireland, led by ALONE, is a national network of Befriending Services for vulnerable and older people that aims are to provide training, quality, transparency as well as a national voice for befriending. ALONE is the only Befriending Service in the country to have a quality award and are passionate about ensuring quality across Befriending Services.

Moynihan concluded, “This Friendship Week, we implore older people who are feeling isolated to reach out to Befriending Network Ireland or someone in their own community for help. We’re also asking the public to set aside 10 minutes to call in on any older persons they think may benefit from seeing a friendly face. It could be the highlight of someone’s week.”

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. To make a donation and help aid ALONE’s work visit www.alone.ie