ALONE has urged people to visit their elderly neighbours this Christmas.
On Christmas Day, the charity’s volunteers will bring hot Christmas dinners to over 100 older people living on their own.
In the lead-up to Christmas, ALONE has also hosted a social dinner
dance that was attended by over 180 older people.
over 500 hampers with vital supplies to help older people through the
Christmas period and, as the charity put it, to bring “a little
Christmas magic” into their lives.
“No one should feel alone at Christmas. However, in ALONE we meet
many older people who have no one to celebrate this special time of year
with. This Christmas we are asking members of the public to check in
with their older neighbours,” said Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE.
“We can all be guilty of getting caught up in the build-up to
Christmas as we reunite with friends and family, but it is important to
remember that many older people have no friends or family to reunite
ALONE suggests that people can help older neighbours this Christmas
by calling in to say hello; ensuring they have enough food, medication
and heat; bringing them out for a drive or to a social event; or giving
them a hand with shopping.
As part of this year’s Christmas Campaign, ALONE is also urging older
people not to be afraid to ask for the care and support they are
“ALONE’s Christmas Campaign this year is not just about charity, it’s
about rights. Older people not only deserve to live with dignity but
they have a right to. We want them to know that they have a right to be
supported, to receive the care they need and to live in a place of their
own choosing,” said Sean Moynihan.
The charity also pointed to the recent National Positive Ageing
Indicators Report, which showed that almost a third of people over 50
provide care to a child or grandchild, and over a quarter do volunteer
On 5 December, ALONE launched a video showing the positive impact of
befriending for older people. In the video older people thank their
volunteers who have made a huge difference to their lives.
Margaret has befriended and visited Kathleen for three years.
“Margaret is like a daughter to me,” stated Kathleen, and in turn
Margaret said, “every time we meet, we laugh a lot and have great
In Ireland, one third of older people live alone.
Through a weekly
volunteer visit and social events, ALONE provides companionship to over
500 older people who are socially isolated.
ALONE stated that befriending services such as its own are a
preventative health measure; loneliness can lead to depression, but it
is also a predictor for dementia, cardiovascular disease and decreased
immune system responsivity.
“Loneliness is twice as dangerous to the health of an older person as
obesity, and is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” stated the
Over the winter period, calls to ALONE for support dramatically
increase and loneliness is one of the main issues that older people
ALONE offers supports and services that can link older people back
in with their community and neighbours.
ALONE’s most vital area of service provision during the winter months
is the Support Coordination service, which deals with emergency calls
for assistance as well as longer term supports in ensuring people can
age at home with comfort, safety and security.
Established in 1977, ALONE receives no Government funding for
day-to-day activities, so relies solely on the generosity of the public
to continue its work.
Those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing
of an older person in their community, can call ALONE for help.
Tel: (01) 679 1032 or see www.alone.ie.
See ALONE’s Thank You Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQzblWU0qxw.