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The Government’s medium-term approach to COVID-19 is welcomed by the
organisation who continually advocate for long term plans for older
people

Dublin, 16 September 2020:    ALONE, the organisation which supports
older people, has welcomed the medium-term approach to COVID-19 as
outlined by the Government earlier today. Currently the whole country
is at a Level 2 status, with the exception of Dublin which has
additional measures at Level 2, depending on the number of cases in
the city and county over the next week. Level 2 means that those aged
70 and older and the medically vulnerable should exercise judgment
regarding the extent to which they engage with others in and outside
the home. Specific guidance is yet to be provided.

The organisation welcomed the Winter Plan Budget, which is said to be
designed alongside Sláintecare guideline plans; to ensure that the
health service has the capacity and resources needed to deal with what
is forecast to be a particularly challenging few months. ALONE is
looking forward to further detail on the €600m winter package in the
coming weeks, which is set to cover health services up to next March.

The organisation was also pleased by the announcement of the proposed
implementation of a National Approach to increase mental health
supports, as many older people are currently struggling with their
mental health as a result of the sudden onset of COVID-19 and related
health guidelines such as cocooning. ALONE is aware of the significant
health impacts that loneliness can have on our mental health, and have
been working hard to support older people who are struggling with
their mental health since March.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “We welcome the introduction of the
Winter Plan Budget, as this if often a difficult time of year for
older people all over Ireland. We are looking forward to further
detail on the plan in the coming weeks and months, as we begin to
prepare for the colder weather. We are also pleased to see that the
Government will be supporting local wellbeing initiatives, as our
organisation works with older people across the country on a local
level, providing advice, assistance and support, particularly during
these uncertain times.”

He continued, “It is vitally important for us now to try to minimize
the risk of transmitting the virus, in order to safeguard vulnerable
groups such as older people. This is particularly important in Dublin
City and County, as this is where cases are at their highest. Please
think of the older people in your life and make sensible decisions
involving them in the coming weeks so that we can lower the number of
cases.”

ALONE is encouraging older people who need advice to call ALONE on
0818 222 024 from 8am-8pm, seven days a week. Contact ALONE if you
have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older
person you know. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.

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