Older people are being encouraged to seek help this winter if they need support.
The Cold Winter Initiative has been launched at Dublin’s Mansion House today, which aims to create a safe and warm Christmas for older people.
Dublin City Council is working with Alone, Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade on the campaign.
Mick McCarthy and Eileen Murphy were at the launch today, and they say people should not be nervous about reaching out.
“I would definitely say to people now to knock around and make sure people are OK. Most people are OK but there is always one or two that need help,” Mr McCarthy said.
Meanwhile, Eileen Murphy said there is often a shame associated with reaching out, and she is encouraging the elderly to talk to someone if they need to this winter.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, launched Dublin City Council and ALONE’s cold weather campaign outside the Mansion House today.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor Chu said:
These colder winter months can be a difficult time for many older people who are vulnerable and may be feeling anxious and isolated.
“We are appealing to all Dubliners and indeed people across the country to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone or be at risk of struggling with loneliness, health difficulties or fuel poverty.
“The Cold Weather Initiative represents the community and the entire city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom face worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year.”
Seán Moynihan, chief executive of ALONE also added: “We regularly work with older people who don’t have central heating, live in challenging housing conditions, and even people who have used their free travel and stayed on buses and trains during the day to keep warm.
“Colder temperatures can have a serious impact on the health and safety of older people, and Ireland has among the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe.”
He is encouraging the elderly to contact ALONE on 0818 222 024 if they have concerns about their wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community.
For more information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions they can also visit www.alone.ie.