September 2, 2010

IRELAND: More elderly experiencing isolation, loneliness, problems with housing

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DUBLIN, Ireland / The Irish Times / News / September 2, 2010

Increase in people contacting Alone

By JOANNE HUNT

A CHARITY that provides services to vulnerable older people says it has seen a 150 per cent increase in the numbers contacting them for help with housing difficulties.

Alone, which provides long-term housing and a befriending service says it is now dealing with 200 calls a month from older people who have difficulty maintaining their homes.

Chief executive of Alone Se├ín Moynihan said yesterday: “For some older people, the house itself can become a poverty trap. If a person can’t meet a big expense like rewiring, their home can fall into disrepair.”

The Alone charity for older people has said it has had 150% more calls from people requesting help.  Photo courtesy:  Irish Independent

Mr Moynihan said the charity had also seen an increase in the number of calls from older people experiencing isolation and loneliness. He said there was an greater demand for its befriending programme with 35 isolated older persons now on a waiting list for befriending visits.

Mr Moynihan said that the charity, which provides an advocacy service, domestic maintenance and runs 95 residences for older people in need, received no Government funding and had also seen a dramatic drop in donations from the public this year.

“We have a long waiting list of people wishing to volunteer with us but we’re unable to proceed with these applications due to lack of funds.”

Mr Moynihan said the charity, whose volunteers number 20 for every one member of staff, were “involved in delivering face-to-face care and support to vulnerable older people. It’s important they are properly trained and this requires resources.”

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© 2010 irishtimes.com

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