The charity ALONE is encouraging older people in Donegal to reach out and strike up a conversation especially if they are feeling isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The organisation, which supports older members of the community, has campaigned in this area for many years and are highlighting the concerns they have when it comes to loneliness. ALONE are concerned by the increased impact loneliness is having which they can measure in their increased demand for their supports. Today, they are asking the public to continue to make time to talk and stay in touch with their older relatives, neighbours and friends.
While ALONE acknowledges that current guidelines are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable groups, it has already reported an increase in a wide range of mental health impacts among older people. The organisation has relayed the message that although we may be socially distanced, we don’t want anyone to feel socially isolated.
A new study by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital found that almost 40% of participants reported that their mental health was worse or much worse since they began restricting their movements. Loneliness has been linked to an increased risk of early death, with some studies highlighting that older people experiencing high levels of loneliness are twice as likely to die within six years compared to those who are not lonely. Studies have linked loneliness and social isolation to higher risks of physical and mental conditions, including heart disease, anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know.
Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024.
Further information can be found on www.alone.ieTags: