ALONE and IGS Press Release 16 April 2019

PRESS RELEASE

ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society partner to present

‘Living Well in Our Community - Opportunities and Challenges’

Friend of ALONE, Vincent Browne, will moderate the symposium on 17th May 2019

Dublin 16th April 2019   ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, has partnered with the Irish Gerontological Society to present a symposium titled ‘Living Well in Our Community – Opportunities and Challenges’. The event will take place in the Education Centre of St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, on 17th May.

Friend of ALONE, broadcaster Vincent Browne will moderate the seminar which will examine the issues facing Irish society as our ageing population continues to increase. Experts from the Department of Health, Social Justice Ireland, St Vincent’s Hospital, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and St James’ Hospital will share insights and suggest solutions to better provide support for older people. With over 1.2 million people to be aged over 60 in Ireland by 2032, ALONE and the Irish Gerontological Society believe that now is the time to discuss and plan how Ireland will support our ageing population.

Speakers on the day will include Colette Bennett, Research and Policy Analyst, Social Justice Ireland; Karl Duff, Department of Health; Dr. Graham Hughes, Consultant Geriatrician, St. Vincent's Hospital; Dr. Siobhán Kennelly, Consultant Geriatrician, Connolly Hospital; Professor Brian Lawlor, Consultant Psychiatrist, St. James's Hospital; Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer, ALONE; Ciara O'Reilly, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist, Beaumont Hospital; and  Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea, President, Irish Gerontological Society.

Tickets to the seminar, and further information on the speakers and programme, are available through the IGS website at https://www.irishgerontology.com/events/living-well-our-community-opportunities-and-challenges

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, will discuss the importance of linking health and community services to best support those in need. “We are delighted to partner with the Irish Gerontological Society to present this symposium next month. I’m looking forward to an engaging session with experts dedicated to tackling the challenges we face in supporting older people across Ireland,” he said.

The announcement of the symposium comes following the recording of the highest ever number of patients waiting on trolleys in an Irish hospital in University Hospital Limerick last week.  “Hospital overcrowding is one such challenge we consistently face in supporting people to live well in their community. Events like this symposium give us the opportunity to broaden the discussion and find innovative solutions for issues like these,” Moynihan continued.

“ALONE has been working on the frontline of community-led care for 40 years and we know just how important it is to open dialogue and explore how community groups, organisations, healthcare professionals, and government bodies can learn from each other and work together to support our country’s ageing population.”

Dr Diarmuid O’Shea, Irish Gerontological Society President, said, “ALONE’s partnership on this event and the engagement from participating speakers have been instrumental for providing an informed and rounded discussion on all aspects pertaining to older people. We’re looking forward to a stimulating day in St Vincent’s Hospital next month and to welcoming a multi-disciplinary audience to discuss and engage with these important issues.

Having age attuned pathways, both in our communities and hospitals will mean that if ill health, chronic illness, frailty or dementia affects an older person there are appropriate services in place to help them and their families. Addressing the challenge of delayed discharges from hospitals is one significant part of this challenge – those who end up staying in hospital longer than is good for them. The IGS will launch a position paper on this issue at the symposium.”

The importance of being able to age at home was highlighted by Kay Maddill, ALONE tenant: “I think home is your front door, home is your safety. Home is to have control over who comes and who doesn’t come.”ENDS

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

Representatives from ALONE are available for interview or comment on issues which affect older people, including healthcare, loneliness, pensions, housing, homelessness, and technology.

About ALONE

ALONE supports older people to age at home. We use individualised care plans to support older people to overcome problems large and small, including loneliness, lack of access to medical services, poverty, homelessness and housing difficulties. ALONE staff provide one point of contact to coordinate services and housing, and assist with reduced hospital admissions and quicker discharges. Our assistive technology provides security and support to age at home. Our volunteers provide friendship and practical help by visiting or telephoning an older person. Over the past 10 years, ALONE has grown from supporting 200 older people per year to 3,500, and from 45 volunteers to 1,500.

For more information contact:

Lauren Freir, Limelight Communications, lauren.freir@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 087 238 0853

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

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