The charity Alone has received more than 14,000 calls since it opened its helpline last month, and staff and volunteers have made some 36,000 calls to older people. About 70 percent of calls concern people living alone and almost two-thirds involve people aged over 70. Sean Moynihan chief executive of Alone recently Said “About 62 per cent of calls are about practical things, but when you actually get into the call it’s really about isolation and loneliness, and loneliness has a definite relationship to depression.”
The primary reason people reach out to us is for security at night for their elderly loved one. A close second is for companionship as many homeowners living alone feel lonely and isolated and their families are concerned for their well being. This is of particular relevance during this time of lock down. Shannon a Trinity student from the USA and in her twenties moved in with Nuala 90 a week before the lock down was imposed she says ‘Cocooning with Nuala has been a crash course in getting to know someone as you are together 24 /7 thankfully it has been going really well and we have gotten to know and understand each other’
Saoirse says, during the lock down, we have been focused on supporting our matches navigate this difficult time. Personally, I also get to see first-hand as a home share companion to Eileen (90) how this solution is giving her a valuable level of support and companionship each day. I think for those who are cocooning alone the isolation can be quite difficult.
Recently a home share companion who is working from home prepared a picnic in the garden for her housemate. I love hearing touching stories like this and there are plenty of them. At a time like this Elder Home Share is serving our older homeowners most of who are in their 80’s and 90’s and who would otherwise be living alone and potentially feeling very lonely and isolated. It’s good to see how a simple idea has proven to be a worthwhile solution especially at this time when many older people are more isolated than ever.
if you are considering how to protect an elderly loved one and would like to have a companion to support their independence in their own home please reach out to learn more: Elder Home Share
Contact Saoirse Sheridan
Telephone 087 1385 628