Reading through Mary McTernan’s study on isolation and depression in aged men living alone locally, one thing is obvious: Hope Help carers are a life line to the elderly.
“When you are on your own without seeing a sinner from dawn to dusk it gets you down … I used to amble (walk) down to the pub … more for company than anything … now its gone … the silence is the worst” one participant said. Twelve of the 20 participants said they relied on the Home Help person if an emergency occurred.
Six of the men interviewed said they did not have a family member of a close friend to call in an emergency.
One described his Home Help as everything from nurse to counsellor and his only contact with the outside world.
Many felt the doctor or family members were too busy.
This study identified Home Help as one of the most important and key service for aged males living alone.
The report suggests that politicians should make sure this service is not cut back any more than it already is.