Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.40 31 Mar 2020


Share this article


A helpline for older people has received more than 1,100 calls in one day.

The charity Alone says this is due to the fact that cocooning measures have been introduced to protect the most vulnerable from the coronavirus.

The organisation logged the large number of calls on Saturday following the introduction of the cocooning measures.

Advertisement

It is also adding further staff members to answer phone calls to meet the increasing demand.

Alone has received more than 5,500 calls to their national helpline in total, which is operating in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE).

It expects the daily number of phone calls to remain high, as older people follow the advice of the Department of Health and stay in their homes.

The organisation has welcomed the introduction of practical support phone lines for older and medically vulnerable people by local authorities nationwide.

It says this will increase capacity and resources for those who are most in need.

COVID-19 GAA An elderly man at a retirement home | Image: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

Alone is working in collaboration with the local authorities, and says its national helpline will complement local authority work.

A Local Authority Community Response Forum will meet in every local authority area and be made up of the HSE, the council, county champions, An Post, community welfare service, An Garda Síochána and community and voluntary groups - including Alone and other age organisations.

Alone CEO Seán Moynihan says: "We greatly welcome the news that local authorities will now provide practical supports to older and medically vulnerable people throughout this time.

"We look forward to working closely with all local authorities so that together we can offer advice, support, and practical assistance to older people and those who are among high risk groups.

"So far we and our volunteers have carried out hundreds of practical support tasks to assist older people, and local authorities will have the ability to scale this further as demand increases.

"We received more than 1,100 calls on Saturday alone following the introduction of cocooning measures and the capacity provided by the local authorities is both welcome and needed."

The charity has also urged communities, family members and neighbours to step up and offer the vital support needed by older people at this time - and reminded older people that staying at home does not mean they will be alone.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for all of us but particularly older people and especially those who live alone,” Mr Moynihan says.

"We are urging family members, neighbours and communities to stay in touch with the older people they know and to provide support if needed.

"The majority of support provided will come from families, neighbours and communities, and their resilience and cooperation is needed now more than ever."

"Our message to older people is that staying at home doesn’t mean you are alone, and we are encouraging every older person to keep in contact with the people and support organisations they need throughout this time."

Any older person who has questions, concerns, worries or is experiencing loneliness can call Alone on 0818-222-024 from 8.00am to 8.00pm, seven days a week or visit the Alone website.

 


Share this article


Read more about

Advice For Older People Alone Alone Charity Cocooning Helpline Local Authorities Older People Phone Calls Seán Moynihan

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on