Reach out to older people who are not tech savvy, says MEP


Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh says we need to reach out to older people who are not tech savvy during the coronavirus crisis.

She was speaking as a special session of the European Parliament got underway to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most MEPs are voting remotely from their homes due to the travel restrictions across Europe.

Some of the measures being discussed include a €37bn investment initiative and changes to the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies.

Midlands-North-West MEP Maria Walsh says we can’t forget those living in rural areas as the movement of people is restricted.

Not everybody has a smartphone, not everybody has a strong Wifi service going into their house, not everybody is comfortable with and knows how to use the internet.

“We need to make sure to make a list of people if we can to stop in and make sure groceries can be dropped in to the door.

“The most vulnerable are often in rural areas.”

Yesterday, An Post announced it is to arrange grocery deliveries, medicines, free postage of parcels and letters and the delivery of newspapers for households as part of new measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

CEO David McRedmond confirmed several new measures today, many designed to help the elderly and vulnerable who are reluctant or unable to leave homes.

A key move will see An Post arrange the collection and free delivery of letters and parcels from vulnerable individuals who may be particularly at risk of the virus, helping some 160,000 homes.

It was also announced that postmen and postwomen would help arrange grocery or pharmacy deliveries to vulnerable households.

    Useful information

  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched 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. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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