| 5°C Dublin

Cold truth Pensioners using free travel to stay on buses all day to keep warm


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Frail elderly person

Frail elderly person

Frail elderly person

Some older people have used their free travel pass to stay on buses and trains during the day to keep warm, it has emerged.

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu yesterday launched Dublin City Council and Alone's cold weather campaign outside the Mansion House, which is urging members of the public to check in on older people in their community this winter.

Ms Chu said, "These colder winter months can be a difficult time for many older people who are vulnerable and may be feeling anxious and isolated.

"We are appealing to all Dubliners and indeed people across the country to be mindful of older people in our communities who may live alone or be at risk of struggling with loneliness, health difficulties or fuel poverty."

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Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, Hazel Chu helped to launch ALONE’s winter campaign

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, Hazel Chu helped to launch ALONE’s winter campaign

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, Hazel Chu helped to launch ALONE’s winter campaign

She added: "The Cold Weather Initiative represents the community and the entire city working together to make a difference in the lives of older people, many of whom are facing worries about warmth, shelter and essentials such as food and medication at this time of year.

"I am confident that local communities will respond with kindness, compassion and goodness to support older people throughout the winter."

Alone is also encouraging older people to prioritise their spending on heating during the winter months.

The organisation has staff ready to act on requests for assistance and can advise on issues relating to food, heat, utilities or medication.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone said: "We regularly work with older people who don't have central heating, live in challenging housing conditions, and even people who have used their free travel and stayed on buses and trains during the day to keep warm.

Mortality

"Colder temperatures can have a serious impact on the health and safety of older people, and Ireland has among the highest levels of excess winter mortality in Europe.

"It's really important that we reach out to people who may be finding things difficult due to ill health, financial worries, or housing difficulties.

"We hope that by spreading this message and by reaching out, more people will stay safe and well this winter."

He added, "We have services all across the country that can offer advice and assistance to those in need of additional supports this winter.

"According to reports from TILDA - The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, around one-in-ten older people have problems heating their home, and nearly half have experienced problems with damp, mould or mildew.

"We encourage anyone who may be concerned about their own well-being or someone else's to reach out for assistance.

"We want people to know that Alone is here to help with any problems they may have this winter season, from housing conditions to loneliness," Mr Moynhan said.

Contact Alone on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own well-being, or the well-being of a vulnerable older person in the community.

For more information, including advice and tips for older people in cold weather conditions, visit www.alone.ie.

This campaign is part of Dublin City Council's commitment to an Age-Friendly City.

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