ALONE has announced the launch of a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health, announced the establishment of a Vulnerable People Subgroup.
ALONE is working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE on a coordinated national response to support older people who have concerns, may be at risk or who have contracted COVID-19.
The supports offered include a new national support line launching tomorrow, Monday March 9.
The support line is to complement the clinical advice and information being provided by the HSE through its website and helpline.
Professional staff will be available to answer queries regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and give advice and reassurance where necessary.
The support line will be open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024, and hours may be extended to meet the demand.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said this support line provides additional information supports for older people who may have concerns or support needs.
“It is led by our voluntary sector who provide invaluable work with communities and is working as part of our co-ordinated national response to COVID-19.
“We are ramping up our response to COVID-19 to provide support to all older people nationwide working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE.
“As the situation develops, as well as advice, information and emotional supports, we will ensure every older person will have access to food, medication, fuel, daily contact, and any other support that may be needed. We want to emphasise that these supports are free, and available to all older people, including those who have not previously used our services.
“Should any older person need any advice or practical support, we encourage them to call us on 0818 222 024,” he said.
Moynihan said at the moment the risk of contracting Coronavirus is low to moderate.
“Older people should continue to carry out their daily activities as normal while taking the appropriate preventative measures, including regular washing of hands and practicing cough etiquette,” he said.
ALONE advises that older people practice the following protective measures as outlined by the HSE:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing/sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice cough and sneeze hygiene – covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough/sneeze. Then dispose of the tissue immediately.
- Stay informed: keep up to date on latest Covid-19 information on www.hse.ie.
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.