ALONE: COVID-19 support line for older people
ALONE launch a COVID-19 support line for older people Working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE
ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has announced the launch of a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland.
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.
The supports offered include a new national support line and additional outreach and coordinated support. This support line is to complement the clinical advice and information being provided by the HSE through its website and helpline.
Professional staff will be available to answer queries regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line will be open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024, and hours may be extended to meet the demand.
ALONE has 2,000 volunteers who provide visitation and telephone Support and Befriending, and professional staff who offer coordinated supports to older people experiencing loneliness, financial and housing difficulties, and any other challenges they may face. 45% of the older people ALONE supports are over the age of 80.
ALONE advises that older people practice the following protective measures as outlined by the HSE:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing/sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice cough and sneeze hygiene – covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately.
- Stay informed: keep up to date on latest Covid-19 information on www.hse.ie.
“The outbreak of COVID-19 will pose additional challenges for older people who may already be vulnerable and particularly those who struggle with health difficulties, loneliness, and other issues,” concluded Moynihan. “To the friends and family of older people who may have concerns, we are encouraging them to continue to support older people in the community as they have always done, while ensuring they are taking the same protective measures.”
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.