ALONE launch coronavirus helpline for older people in Louth
ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice or support to call their support line, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week.
ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has received hundreds of calls to their COVID-19 support line for older people since it launched on Monday last, 9 March, and has extended its opening hours to include Saturdays and Sundays.
ALONE has received increasing numbers of phone calls from older people looking for support and reassurance throughout the week, including on Saturday and Sunday, and has added extra staff to answer the lines to meet the demand.
The charity expects the daily number of phone calls to increase further as Department of Health advice to older people and vulnerable groups to reduce their contacts outside their home is implemented by older people in the community.
ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice or support to call their support line, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. The support line, which is running in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE, will also be open on St Patrick’s Day. The service is available to all older people including those who have not used ALONE’s services previously. The support line is to complement the clinical advice and information being provided by the HSE through its website and helpline. Older people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to call their GP.
As a member organisation of the National Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Subgroup for Vulnerable People, ALONE is working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE on a coordinated national response to support older people who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19.
“Every person has a responsibility to those who are vulnerable in their communities. Every decision, big and small, matters and can have an impact on the people around you. It is vital that the community pulls together now and that everyone plays their part to ensure older people and those who are most vulnerable are supported,” said ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.
As well as providing the helpline, advice, reassurance, and support with tasks including grocery and prescription collection and drop off, ALONE is also offering regular check in calls to older people who may feel isolated or want regular contact throughout this period. This is made possible by ALONE’s telephone support infrastructure, partner organisations, and more than 2,000 ALONE volunteers. Last year ALONE and its volunteers made 97,345 phone calls to older people throughout the year.
ALONE has also issued an appeal to families, neighbours and friends of older people who may be vulnerable to get in touch with the older person they know by phone to share the support line details and to offer their own support to their families and neighbours. Moynihan also emphasised that the level of community response to COVID-19 so far had been “unprecedented”.
“We are incredibly grateful for all of the offers to volunteer we have been receiving through email and social media. We have received a huge response and we will be back in touch with everyone who has so generously volunteered their time as soon as possible. Over the coming months we hope to recruit 1,500 volunteers. For those who are interested in providing support to older people throughout this period, we would ask them to email us on email@example.com with their full name, phone contact details and location.”
Contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 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.