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Older people’s organisations say Government response to financial pressure of COVID-19 is piecemeal and inadequate

 (Tuesday, 31 March 2020) Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland have described the Government extension of the fuel allowance as ‘piecemeal and inadequate’.

 Age Action & Active Retirement Ireland today criticized the piecemeal nature of the Government’s response to the financial challenges facing older people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They argue that close to 70% of pensioners will not benefit from the announcement.

Age Action is Calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE to Ensure the Protection of Persons with a Disability Living in Large Congregated Settings

Age Action today called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to ensure that the HSE take immediate and urgent measures to protect persons with a disability living in large congregated settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 clusters were reported in 3 residential settings and 17 nursing homes which accounts for 22% of the total number of COVID-19 clusters /outbreaks in Ireland according to data prepared by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre for NPHET on 28/03/20.

New COVID-19 Measures Announced by an Taoiseach 27 March 2020

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 or the Corona Virus on the evening of 27 March.

Included in the measures is a concept known as cocooning; this means that those who are over 70 years or those extremely medically vulnerable should not leave their homes, and within their homes should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household. This is to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 from coming into contact with the virus.  

 

Connect, Inform and Support – Age Action’s COVID-19 Response

Age Action has launched Connect, Inform and Support – Age Action’s COVID-19 Response.

The organisation has reconfigured supports and services to ensure they stay connected to our members, partners and those who use their programmes.

Two main supports are outlined below and accessible by calling 0818911109 or you can find out more here

Call for emergency lump sum payment to those on state pensions

Immediate financial buffer required to support older people to self-isolate

Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland today called on the Government and Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty to do more for those whose health and wellbeing is most at risk from Covid-19.

While welcoming the measures by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to support workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland argue that those who rely solely on the State Pension have not got the financial bandwidth to meet the hidden costs of self-isolation, care costs and additional costs that arise from having a disability.

Age Action & Active Retirement Ireland call on people to protect their older family members during COVID-19

Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland today called on the public to act in the interests of people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 – older people and people with underlying health conditions.

Alarmed by reports on social and mainstream media of people disregarding the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the Government to practice social distancing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland who have a combined membership of approximately 35,000 people, criticised the actions of customers and some licenced premises operators.

Generation Equality - Realising Women's Rights for an Equal Future

Today 8 March is International Women's Day. This year the theme is Generation Equality which focuses on issues facing women across generations. Age Action today launched a briefing paper, Carrying Inequality - How Cumulative Inequality Impacts Older People. 

To understand more about the effects of discrimination and disadvantage across a lifetime, the paper explores current information about a number of the ‘grounds’ of discrimination. We focus on poverty, income, employment, and education as a simple way of introducing the idea of cumulative disadvantage, however this is just a small part of a much more complex picture that includes wider issues such as health, accommodation and transport.

 

COVID-19 Coronavirus - Get Informed

As an organisation working with and for older people, we are mindful that information about COVID-19, from official sources, suggests that older people, particularly people with underlying health conditions, are more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus. We want to ensure that we support older people during this time by;

1.           Ensuring that older people have accurate and timely information about the virus

2.           Playing our part to mitigate the risk of passing the virus to others, particularly older people and other vulnerable members of the population.

Click the image below for the latest HSE Video about COVID-19 (10/03/2020)

Age Action has advised staff and volunteers about the guidelines issued by the HSE and distributed the yellow HSE produced COVID-19 poster through all our sites (click image below for full size version).

We are appealing to people who are online to share the official HSE information with their older family members, friends and clients to make sure that they are informed.

Everyone has a responsibility to follow the official advice from the HSE to try to minimise exposure and potentially passing it on to others.

We need to care for ourselves so we can care for others.

Informing Older People about the COVID-19 Virus

As an organisation working with and for older people, we are mindful that information about COVID-19, from official sources, suggests that older people, particularly people with underlying health conditions, are more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus. We want to ensure that we support older people during this time by;

1.           Ensuring that older people have accurate and timely information about the virus

2.           Playing our part to mitigate the risk of passing the virus to others, particularly older people and other vulnerable members of the population.

Acutely aware that many people, particularly older people do not have access to the internet, we have appealed for a dedicated Helpline for Older People to be established. 

We are also asking people who are online to share the official HSE information with their older family members, friends and clients to make sure that they are informed.

 

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