June 6, 2023

COVID-19: New befriending phone-call initiative to help older people in Kilkenny

All 1,486 participants in the Seniors Alert Scheme in Kilkenny are being asked to ensure their personal alarm is activated following the announcement of a new befriending phone-call initiative by the Government.

Speaking about the new service, local Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan 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 will be funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, and will be operated in conjunction with POBAL and ALONE.

Deputy Phelan added: “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.

“1,486 older people are signed up to the Seniors Alert Scheme in Kilkenny and a further 1,036 in Carlow 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.

“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 allow it to be done in a coordinated and organised way to ensure nobody is left behind as we deal with the pandemic,” Deputy Phelan (pictured below) concluded.

Brian McGee of CCoI pictured at the CCoI headquarters in Kilkenny.
Picture Dylan Vaughan.

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