Daniel O'Donnell who was the special guest at the launch of ALONE in Donegal today Picture Brian McDaid
ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, was joined by Donegal native, Daniel O’Donnell, as they launched support services for older people in the region today. ALONE has merged with existing service provider Good Morning Donegal.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said at the launch, “We are delighted to be expanding our services to older people in Donegal with the help of our fantastic staff and the Good Morning Donegal team. ALONE’s work with the HSE has previously been described as a fine example of reimagining service provision by Minister Paschal Donohue and we look forward to seeing this develop throughout Donegal, building on the great work and community spirit already in place locally.”
Loneliness and social isolation in particular can have a major impact on a person’s life and wellbeing, but with the help of ALONE, more individuals can reach out and receive the help they need.
Donegal native Daniel O’Donnell said: “My mother availed of the good morning service in her final years. She always enjoyed those calls from their representatives. Even though there was a lot of us around, those calls kept her in touch with the community in a special way. I hope this service will get the support it needs to continue. It is a wonderful service this organisation provides and I hope that any older person who is feeling lonely or is looking for support will pick up the phone and get in touch with ALONE.”
Working at the front line of community supports, ALONE reports a universal story of needs and access for older people across urban and rural settings.
Moynihan continued: “As a country, we are facing an ageing demographic and ALONE, and other agencies, are providing essential supports. We need to ensure that there is consistency of services across both urban and rural areas. Many more older people will be experiencing issues such as loneliness or homelessness in the coming years and we hope that expanding our ground-level supports will help to make a positive impact on the lives in Donegal and throughout the country.”
Looking for volunteers
As demand for ALONE services increases, ALONE is looking for volunteers throughout the county to help to provide their Befriending & Support service for older people.
“Our volunteers help to support older people by offering a visit, having a chat and providing access to support. Often, they go on to make a friend for life,” continued Moynihan. “We provide training to volunteers before they are paired with an older person and we’re always on hand to support both the older person and the volunteer. We are asking anyone who may be interested to extend a helping hand and help us to support and empower more older people to live happily and securely at home."
Staff from the ALONE office in Donegal including Emma Lu Kerr, Sarah Breslin, Amma Kennedy, Tracey Reddin and Francis Browne, pictured with special guest Daniel O Donnell and Alone CEO Sean Moynihan Picture: Brian McDaid
ALONE is also encouraging older people who may need support to get in touch.
“We can offer support with problems large and small. Many older people may feel like they are putting someone out by asking for help, but we want them to know that help is what we’re here for – all they need to do is lift the phone.”
Founded in Dublin in 1977, ALONE is now a merger of five organisations offering support to older people to age at home throughout Ireland. ALONE helps those facing loneliness, social isolation, poverty, housing difficulties, homelessness and health difficulties, by providing Befriending, Support Coordination, Housing with Support, and BConnect assistive technology.