Minister Damien English visits ALONE head office

The Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government visited the charity’s head office today

Dublin, 26th June 2019 The Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Damien English, today visited the office of ALONE, the charity which supports older people to age at home, to discuss housing, assistive technology and services for older people.

Following the release of the joint policy statement on Housing Options for Our Ageing Population earlier in the year, which recognised the need for support as an element of housing provision for older people, ALONE highlighted the demand for provision of housing and support for older people.

ALONE updated Minister English on their work to deliver a new model of housing for older people, Housing with Supports, as part of a demonstrator project under Rebuilding Ireland in Inchicore, Dublin 8. The project is being developed by ALONE and Circle VHA with support from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Department of Health, Dublin City Council and the HSE.

ALONE also exhibited their technology for older people. Developed to support older people to continue living independently for longer, ALONE’s technology can support people in urban and rural locations with concerns around health, support and security, and support hospital discharge.

The technology enables older people to stay linked in with support services, self-monitor their health and activity, and feel secure and supported in their home. The technology includes ALONE’s BWell app, home sensors, a smart watch and alarm button.

Speaking from the visit to ALONE this morning, Minister English said, “ALONE’s work is key in supporting older people to live independently at home. Innovative approaches such as those ALONE are taking in developing assistive technology, working on new models of housing, and providing wraparound services for older people are a vital part of ensuring that the housing needs of older people are met.”

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Minister English at ALONE today and to highlight the work we are doing to support older people to age at home. At ALONE we recognise that delivering housing for older people requires provision of support, and we see the challenges posed by an ageing demographic. We are working to meet these challenges by reimagining our services and making the most of technological advances to provide the best support we can to older people and the people and organisations who care for them.”

Moynihan continued, “It has been encouraging to see that a number of ALONE’s recommendations in our report released last year, Housing Choices for Older People: Time for Action, were also included in the joint policy statement on Housing Options for Our Ageing Population.Housing Options for Our Ageing Population recognised that providing housing for older people is indivisible from providing supports. Housing is the second most common issue faced by older people who use ALONE’s services. We hope that by implementing these recommendations we can work towards building an infrastructure to support older to people to age at home within their communities for longer.”