ALONE, the organisation which supports older people is encouraging members of the public to be conscious of older people in our society who may be experiencing elder abuse or negligence on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The organisation has warned that older people may be more susceptible to elder abuse amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, with many experiencing a loss of independence due to COVID-19 safety restrictions.
ALONE has highlighted the fact that many older people are more at risk now as they are seeing people less frequently. Many older people who would have been independent before the COVID-19 outbreak are now relying on others for support and assistance in their day-to-day lives. However, cocooning and social distancing measures have resulted in reduced home care services and other support services for older people, having a detrimental effect on their overall physical and mental wellbeing. There has also been a reduction in older people going into institutions such as hospitals and care homes to receive necessary care.
The organisation is urging members of the public to remain vigilant and to safeguard our older people while also encouraging older people who are suffering from abuse or negligence to reach out and seek help. As an organisation, ALONE endeavours to support older people experiencing these difficulties and assist them when they need it most.
Seán Moynihan, ALONE CEO, said “There are many different types of abuse of an older person, such as physical abuse, psychological abuse or financial abuse. These may be carried out deliberately, or through negligence. An older person may experience more than one form of abuse at any given time, unfortunately many feel too ashamed to come forward and seek help.”
He continued, “Many older people are at an increased risk of suffering from abuse now as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect older and vulnerable people. Individuals who would have been independent before this crisis now have to rely on people where they didn’t before, and many of these individuals feel that their independence has been stripped away to some extent. We need to address this issue now to prevent it worsening over the coming weeks and months. If you are concerned about an older person, call us on 0818 222 024 or email us at email@example.com. If you have immediate concerns about the safety or welfare of an older person in your life, please contact An Garda Síochána immediately.”
ALONE is also urging any older person who may be experiencing abuse to reach out and ask for support.
“I would like to remind any older person that is struggling at the moment that supports are available to them through ALONE and Local Authorities across the country. This isn’t something that you have to go through alone, our organisation is there to offer support, advice and assistance to those who need it. If you are struggling at all over the coming weeks and months, please do not hesitate to reach out and seek help.” said Moynihan.
Since March, ALONE’s Support Line has received in excess of 23,833 calls for support. ALONE staff and volunteers have made more than 102,753 calls to older people who needed support, and provided more than 15,400 units of practical support, including collecting groceries and prescriptions. ALONE is providing ongoing support to more than 12,616 older people who require support for difficulties with loneliness, health, finance, housing, accessing services, COVID-19 and other challenges.
ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on, 0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. 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.