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
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.