ALONE calls on people to remember older neighbours who may be lonely over Easter

The charity says the closure of shops and services can make it a particularly challenging time for older people

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The ALONE charity is calling on the public to remember older neighbours who may be lonely over the Easter period.

The organisation, which supports vulnerable older people, says even small gestures can make a difference for people feeling lonely or the 170,000 older people living at home alone in Ireland.

ALONE is reminding people that public holidays such as Easter can be a particularly challenging time for older people due to the closure of shops, healthcare services and other supports.

The charity's CEO Sean Moyniahan says, "this year, as we commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising, it is time to reflect on whether we have created the republic that was imagined. It is said that society can be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens and currently 1 in 5 older people are at risk of poverty or suffering deprivation and 1 in 10 older people suffer from chronic loneliness.

"Add to that the fact that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are twice as likely to die within six years, we should ask ourselves is this the type of society that the leaders of the rising dreamt of," he adds.

Last week, the charity highlighted the link between emigration and loneliness, saying the damaging effects of loneliness can be as harmful as the effects of obesity or smoking.

ALONE can be contacted on 01-679-1032.