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Huge rise in calls from vulnerable older people

The was a 50 per cent increase in requests for help from older people last year, one charity has said.

Image: John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

THERE WAS A 50 per cent increase in the number of vulnerable older people needing support over the course of last year, according to one charity.

Some 1,300 older people contacted the charity Alone for help between July and December 2010 – half as much again as during the previous six-month period.

Alone, an organisation which works to provide housing, companionship and support for older people, released the figures in its annual report today. The group said it is currently helping 330 people every day, and carrying out 30 emergency interventions a month for people in a condition of crisis.

The charity runs a number of homes for older people as well as running social events and providing certain financial supports, such as payments towards gas bills.

Speaking at the report’s launch today, Alone CEO Seán Moynihan said many older people were especially vulnerable to cutbacks during the recession.

“Every day we face the reality that there are a significant number of older people living on the State pension who are reliant on social transfers which are reducing and leaving them in poverty and in need of our assistance,” he said.

“We are concerned about the possibility of continued cutbacks impacting older people, in particular where they are applied as blanket measures without regard for the personal circumstances of indivduals already in need.”

Read more: Earlier this month, Seán Moynihan wrote about Alone’s mission for TheJournal.ie>

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Michael Freeman

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