By Cian Molloy - 16 October, 2017
As Hurricane Ophelia hits all parts of Ireland today, the charity ALONE is urging older people to take extra care of themselves and is asking the rest of us to be good neighbours.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the charity which helps older people in need through sheltered housing schemes, support for those wishing to continue independent living in their own homes and advice and advocacy services.
“Older people can be more vulnerable during poor weather and stormy conditions,” says ALONE CEO Seán Moynihan. “The older people most at risk are those living alone, those with health issues, and those with limited mobility.
“ALONE is calling on members of the public to check on their older neighbours and assist them if they need to travel to the local shop or post office during the bad weather. ALONE is also asking older people who are concerned about their own wellbeing during the stormy weather to call for assistance and help if needed.”
Met Éireann has issued its highest level wind warning, red, for the whole country during daytime hours today. Violent and destructive gusts are forecast for all areas, with flying debris likely, particularly in the southwest and south in the morning and in eastern counties in the afternoon. As a result of the alert, the Department of Education and Science has directed all schools and third-level institutions to remain closed for the day. Transport services on land, sea and air are disrupted with bus services, ferry services and flights being cancelled. It is thought that this storm will be the worst one to hit Ireland in more than 50 years.
Mr Moynihan said: “Following the status red weather warning from Met Éireann, we are calling on all members of the public to remember their older neighbours living alone and to consider their needs. We’re advising older people to be prepared, by ensuring they have adequate heat, medication, food and to stay indoors where possible.”
If you have concerns for an older person – or if you are an older person in need of help – you can contact ALONE on 01 679 1032. The charity is advising older people to have a list of other important phone numbers close to their home phone.
Tips for older people, on coping with extreme weather conditions, can be found on the website www.alone.ie.