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Age Action urges public to check in on older neighbours during cold spell

Published 12/01/2017

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Age Action is urging communities to help ensure their older neighbours remain safe and well during the current spell of cold weather. The organisation also advised any older person who has not yet got the flu vaccine to do so as soon as possible. 

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications with Age Action, said: “Cold weather can and does kill in Ireland, making the winter a particularly challenging period for older people in particular.

“Between 1,500 and 2,000 excess deaths occur during the winter in Ireland, compared to the summer. Many of these are older people who die as a result of respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease.

“Snow and ice add to the problem as many may not be able to get out to buy food, fuel or medical supplies.

“We would really urge family, friends and neighbours to check in on any older people they know living nearby, particularly those who may be living alone or have difficulty getting out and about. Dropping in to say hello or a quick phone call to make sure everything is okay will always be welcome.”

John Holohan of the Asthma Society, businesswoman Celia Holman Lee, Susan O’Dwyer from Boots and Justin Moran of Age Action launch the winter flu vaccination campaign.
John Holohan of the Asthma Society, businesswoman Celia Holman Lee, Susan O’Dwyer from Boots and Justin Moran of Age Action launch the winter flu vaccination campaign.

Flu vaccine

Age Action also encouraged older people to ensure they get the flu vaccine to protect themselves against the virus if they had not done so already.

The flu vaccination is recommended for all those in an at-risk group, particularly people aged 65 and over, and anyone with a long-term medical condition such as asthma or an autoimmune disease.

Mr Moran continued: “The majority of people who suffer severely with winter flu in Ireland are aged 65 and over so it is vital that they do everything they can to protect themselves.

“No matter how healthy you feel, a bad case of the flu is very difficult to recover from so we are urging all our members and everyone in an at-risk group to speak to your local healthcare professional about vaccination.”

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A Fair Society for All? Listening to the Voices of Older People

Often, inequalities experienced by older people reflect an accumulated disadvantage which can be as a result of factors such as socio-economic status, health, gender, location. How existing inequalities impact on us as we age is something we in Age Action explored through a panel discussion 10 September – A Fair Society For All? Listening to the Voice of Older People – in Croke Park, on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting 2019.

An audience of over 160 people, including members of Age Action and people working in the ageing sector, joined the conversatoin which included a panel disucssion moderated by the CEO Paddy Connolly. The discussion centred on a discussion paper, Equality for All - Older People for Equality, published by Age Action in advance.The  panel set the scene with inputs from Michael Taft, Economist and political economy columnist, Colette Bennett, Policy Analyst Social Justice Ireland, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of Together for Yes.