Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.06 15 Nov 2019


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Alone, the organisation that supports older people to age at home, has launched its Christmas campaign.

It is encouraging members of the public to 'make their minutes count' by working together to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Author Marian Keyes, the group's Christmas ambassador, is asking people to take a few minutes out of their day to interact with their older neighbours and relatives.

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Alone is also asking for support from new volunteers and donors to help to support them to combat loneliness and other challenges faced by older people.

It says one in 10 people over 75 are lonely a lot of the time, and demand for Alone's services has increased five-fold in recent years.

While one in four older people live alone, this increases in rural areas.

Ms Keyes said: "I'm delighted to be helping Alone launch their Christmas campaign this year, to spread awareness of such an important issue.

"I admire the work that they do with older people and I'm so happy to be a part of such a positive message.

"Loneliness and isolation can be serious problems for older people and dropping in for a chat or helping a neighbour with their shopping could make all the difference to their mental health.

"We've all felt alone at certain times in our lives, sometimes all it takes is a cup of tea and a bit of a laugh to really lift an older person's spirits.

"A few minutes may not mean much to you, but to a lonely older person it could be the highlight of their day."

She added: "As we age, it can be more difficult to reach out to people for companionship

"A lot of older people might be embarrassed or too proud to admit that they are lonely.

"What might only seem like a quick chat to you can make an older person feel loved, appreciated, and that they are part of the community."

Alone CEO Seán Moynihan said: "It takes us 10 minutes to introduce an older person to their new volunteer, but it can lead to years of companionship and friendship and it can change someone's life.

"In the run up to Christmas none of us ever seem to have enough time to do all the things we need to do.

"We know that not everyone has the time to volunteer with Alone - but it only takes a minute to donate and to help us to continue to do the work we do."

The charity depends on the generosity of the public for support through volunteering and donations.

It also provides a support and befriending service, which is designed to alleviate the negative impacts loneliness has on mental and physical health.

The Alone national phone line is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm for all older people across the country on 0818-222-024


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