Warm the heart of an older neighbour
Dublin City Council’s Community Development Section, in association with ALONE, the Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade, is re-issuing an appeal to urge members of the public to check in on older people in their community in advance of this week’s cold weather. The Cold Weather Initiative was launched by The Lord Mayor of Dublin Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha in December 2017.
Following a series of weather warnings from Met Éireann, ALONE and Dublin City Council are asking people to check in with the older and vulnerable members of their communities to ensure they have fuel, food, water and are in good communication with family, friends and neighbours.
Ardmhéara Mícheál Mac Donncha, speaking at the Cold Weather Initiative launch in December, said, “The winter months can be a difficult time for many people who are vulnerable, alone and isolated. It can be a very frightening experience to be without shelter, warmth, food or essential items such as medication. We are appealing to all Dubliners to look out for the older people in your community who may live alone, have no family or may be at risk of suffering from fuel poverty, illness or loneliness. This campaign represents the community and the whole city working together.”
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE commented, “Cold temperatures can have a serious affect on many older people, in particular those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility. 5% of Irish people aged over 65 who lived alone were unable to keep their homes adequately warm in 2012. This figure jumped to 9.8% in 2013. Given that 50% of Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) experienced in Ireland can be linked to poor thermal efficiency in the dwellings, ALONE is urging older people to take extra care and encouraging those who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the cold weather to call for assistance and help if needed.”
ALONE is encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the cold weather. For those who are struggling to keep up with utilities bills, you can contact your utilities company to set up a payment plan. ALONE has volunteers and staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, or medication. Further information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, can be found on www.alone.ie.
For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit www.alone.ie.
The campaign is part of Dublin City Council’s commitment to an Age Friendly City.
 Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative, Preliminary Report, March 2015, https://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/afu/DOH_Positive_ageing_report.pdf
 (DCENR): A Strategy to Combat Energy Poverty: 2016-2019,p. 27