Michael Corcoran, Director of Bluebird Care Wexford speaks to Alan Corcoran of South East Radio about the business of homecare and Ireland’s ageing population.
“Calls to Senior Help Line are on the increase. Figures released show that older people are continuing to be impacted by austerity and are among the most vulnerable group in the country.”
The Senior Help Line is available 365 days a year from 10am-10pm, for the price of a local call on 1850 440 444. The organisation says that all calls are handled in strict confidence.
Operations Director with Bluebird Care, Eddie O’Toole was speaking following news that Senior Help Line, run by almost 350 volunteers, received over 28,500 calls in 2013 and describes itself as ‘only national peer to peer listening service for older people’ and is run by Third Age Ireland.
Senior helpline CEO Aine Brady said the line is open for people to discuss anything of concern, and is aimed at “breaking the cycle of loneliness”.
While the main topic is loneliness, others contact the service due to worries over the high costs of living, elder abuse, and feelings of suicide. However, she expressed concern at the increasing demand on the service.
“Worryingly we are receiving twice as many calls as we can answer,” she said.
Calls have increased exponential each year since the service was set-up.
The organisation believes the effect of emigration on older sections of society has been ‘largely ignored in public debate’.
President of country’s largest ageing network launches 2014 Irish Pensioners Handbook
“My swing needs improving but apart from that, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Growing old is a virtue and I’m making the most of it.”
Mai Quaid (73) from Baltinglass in Co. Wicklow and President of Active Retirement Ireland was practicing her golf swing at the launch of the 2014 Irish Pensioners Handbook.
She was joined by Arthur Dempsey (75), a former rugby player with Wanderers and Palmerston Clubs in South Dublin who now coaches first and second years at Wilson’s Hospital School in Multyfarnham Co. Westmeath.
Mai says the Irish Pensioners Handbook is an invaluable resource. “We are living longer, we are healthier and we are more active than ever so it’s great to see a publication that provides expert advice on key issues and a broad range of ideas for keeping active. And it’s free which is important. Our members from our 550 local Active Retirement groups will certainly be picking up a copy.”
The handbook is produced by Homecare company Bluebird Care, who will distribute it around the country throughout their 24 local offices, with contributions from Active Retirement Ireland, Age Action and the social housing association RESPOND!
Writing in the Irish Pensioners Handbook Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibility for Older People says the Government is committed to ensuring older people are supported and enabled to lead full and independent lives. “The National Positive Ageing Strategy published in April 2013 outlines Ireland’s vision for ageing and older people and the national goals and objectives required to promote positive ageing. It will be the blueprint for age related policy and service delivery across Government in the years ahead.”
Eddie O’Toole, Operations Director with Bluebird Care says, “Part of our commitment to older people is to share information and advice on issues of interest to them hence our involvement in the Irish Pensioners Handbook. We value care in the same way we understand the premise, ‘some day I will have to ask for help. Maybe not today, but some day’.”
The handbook is free and contains information on a range of topics including:
• Older People’s Organisations • Home Care • Holidays & Travel • Health & Fitness • Financial Advice • Legal Advice • Bereavement • Nutrition & Diet
“Bring Care Home”
“I would like to thank the Bluebird Care team for the time and experience that was invested in me. I will treasure many memories I have of working with the clients and will always hold them dear to me” – Kelly
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