Press Statement Monday 6th April 2020
New befriending phone-call initiative to support older people in Limerick – O’ Donnell
-Kieran O’ Donnell TD encourages the 3,064 Limerick Seniors Alert Scheme participants to ensure their personal alarm is activated
Limerick Fine Gael TD Kieran O’ Donnell is encouraging the 3,064 Limerick participants in the Seniors Alert Scheme to ensure their personal alarm is activated, following the announcement of a new befriending phone-call initiative by the Government.
Deputy Kieran O’ Donnell said: “As part of the measures to support older people during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has announced a new befriending phone-call initiative for those on the Seniors Alert Scheme.”
The initiative, which was announced by Minister Michael Ring, will be funded by his Department of Rural and Community Development, and will be operated in conjunction with POBAL and ALONE.
Deputy Kieran O’ Donnell continued: “The Seniors Alert Scheme is designed to provide peace of mind and local assistance to older people, so it is well placed to be used for this new initiative to support people who may be struggling during the COVID-19 period.
“3,064 older people are signed up to the Seniors Alert Scheme in Limerick and I encourage them to check their personal alarm is activated at this time.
“Test your alarm to ensure it is working. You will then receive a call back from your monitoring provider or local community group. They will ask if you would like to avail of a befriending call service through ALONE.
“It is really positive to see ALONE involved in this initiative as they have the nationwide capacity to provide this service, and of course they are well attuned to the needs of older people given the valuable work they already do in or communities.
“The ALONE Helpline can also be contacted on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know.
“Furthermore, the Limerick COVID-19 Community Response has also been established by Limerick City & County Council in partnership with the HSE, An Garda Síochána, GAA, IRFU, FAI, Liveable Limerick, the Catholic and Church of Ireland and multiple sporting and volunteer groups to provide for vulnerable people seeking assistance with daily needs. Assistance includes shopping, prescriptions, supplies, information or other suitable requests. A new dedicated helpline 1800 832 005 is open 8am-8pm 7 days a week.
“It is really important that we check in with our older friends and neighbours who may not be able to get out at this difficult time. I commend the very many people who are doing this in our communities already. This new befriending phone-call initiative will also allow it to be done in a coordinated and organised way to ensure nobody is left behind as we deal with the pandemic”, Kieran O’Donnell TD concluded.