Ireland: 'Reach out': People urged to help isolated elderly - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Ireland 'Reach out': People urged to help isolated elderly

11:52  03 december  2019
11:52  03 december  2019 Source:   independent.ie

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The public have been urged to reach out to elderly people , as pensioners can face high levels of isolation and loneliness over the Christmas period. Many pensioners worry about warmth, shelter and essentials including food and medication, as well as health difficulties and fuel poverty during the

By the time people reach their 80s, the majority live on their own, mostly because of widowhood. This is particularly the case for older women who are more likely to be widowed Many older adults are socially isolated or lonely and research indicates that social isolation and loneliness are health risks.

a man sitting at a table with a cup of coffee: ‘Getting the message out there’: Don Johnson (67), from Clontarf in Dublin, at the Alone charity cold weather campaign launch. Photo: PA ‘Getting the message out there’: Don Johnson (67), from Clontarf in Dublin, at the Alone charity cold weather campaign launch. Photo: PA

Don Johnson considers himself one of the lucky ones.

Despite living on his own in a house in Clontarf, north Dublin, the 67-year-old pensioner has three adult daughters who visit and recently welcomed his first grandchild into the family.

While he doesn't consider himself to be lonely, he knows how difficult and isolating it can be for seniors to live on their own without family or friends to keep an eye out for them or drop by for a friendly chat.

"A lot of people don't want to let the world know," he said.

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Figures show that 1 in 10 elderly people only see friends and family once a month, with For the first time, officials will ask local councils and NHS health trusts to carry out surveys of the levels of If they are found to be high, authorities will be urged to provide extra support such as befriending services

Find out how to help lonely or socially isolated elderly people in your community, including Volunteering for an organisation that supports older people is a key way of helping a lonely or socially isolated older person. But a simple friendly chat or phone call can make all the difference, too.

Recent reports of elderly people being found dead in their homes months after they were last seen is a tragic indictment of the social isolation that exists in modern Ireland, he said.

"It's a great country but you have to get the message out - there is help out there," he said.

He was speaking as the cold weather campaign launched yesterday by the charity Alone and Dublin City Council urged the public to check on elderly neighbours over the winter months to ensure they are safe and warm, or may just want a bit of company.

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