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Kilkenny and Carlow communities urged to reach out to ‘cocooners’ as Covid-19 restrictions remain in place for April

ALONE says the support of communities and families is “more important than ever” as cocooning measures are extended until May 5

ALONE, the organisation which supports older people in Ireland, is urging the people of Kilkenny and Carlow to reach out to older people in the community who may be feeling particularly isolated at the moment due to cocooning measures in place, which will now continue until May 5.

The organisation is asking families to reach out by phone or use technology to stay in touch with their older relatives, neighbours and friends.

As well as answering more than 12,000 calls since the launch of its national COVID-19 support line in March, ALONE’s staff and volunteers have made more than 31,184 calls to stay in touch with older people.

Read also: Local postmen and women to check in with older and vulnerable people along their routes from today

70% of the older people who called ALONE’s support line in the last week are living alone, with almost two thirds of these callers aged 70 and over.

“We recognise that the extension of the COVID-19 measures which have been put in place is vital and will no doubt save lives. However, we also know that the next three weeks will be very difficult for older people and the support of our communities and families will be more important than ever throughout this time”, says ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan.

“We are receiving a huge number of phone calls from older people who are feeling lonely and isolated having now spent two weeks in their homes. Through our work with the Local Authorities we understand that they are also receiving a significant number of calls in this area.”

“70% of the people who have contacted us in the last week are living alone and it is this group who are most at risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation at this time. Loneliness will only become a bigger challenge for older people in the weeks to come.”

Research by The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) last year showed that one-third of those aged 50 and older felt lonely at least some of the time. The study also showed that loneliness is most prevalent among over-75s and those living alone.