Offaly Independent

Published: Monday, 23rd December, 2013 2:07pm

Visits to elderly neighbours encouraged by Age Action

Profile by Laura Ryder

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Visits to older neighbours, particularly those living alone, are being encouraged this Christmas by Age Action.

Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins made the call for visits earlier this week, saying that the one in three older people in Ireland who live alone might appreciate it.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for some older people, especially those living along, those whose families have emigrated, the bereaved, and those who may be house-bound,” Mr Timmins said.

“The emphasis at this time of the year on family and socialising makes it even more difficult for some older people, for whom loneliness and isolation is a problem all year round. But it poses specific challenges for people who are dependent on home helps, meals-on-wheels and other community supports, as many of these services are temporarily suspended over the Christmas period to enable staff take holidays.”

Age Action is urging the general public to make time to call on older neighbours, especially those living alone, those living in remote areas and those who do not have family living locally.

Older people who do not drive may appreciate an offer to pick up groceries, fuel or medication.

“We would also encourage groups which are organising social events in communities to consider offering lifts to older neighbours to enable them participate and join in the fun,” Mr Timmins said.

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