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Help us find Ireland’s Silver Surfers

Published 12/12/2017

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Open eir and Age Action have teamed up again to host the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards and nominations are now open.

Launching this year’s Silver Surfer Awards were Michelle Toner of open eir, John Church of Age Action, broadcaster and campaigner Brendan Courtney and former winner Betty Smith.
Launching this year’s Silver Surfer Awards were Michelle Toner of open eir, John Church of Age Action, broadcaster and campaigner Brendan Courtney and former winner Betty Smith.

The awards recognise the online achievements of older people using technology as well as the volunteers who teach these skills to thousands of older people across Ireland.

Recent CSO figures show that almost half of Irish people aged over 60 have never used the internet, a disturbing statistic in an increasingly online society. Open eir and Age Action are working to change this and to open up the online world for older people in Ireland.

The overall aim of the open eir Silver Surfer Awards is to raise awareness among older people of the benefits of getting online and to encourage those who are not online to give it a try by celebrating those older people already showing the way.

These awards also highlight the positive impact being online makes to everyday life – whether that’s learning new skills, running a business, staying in touch with family and friends or getting to grips with social media.

Delighted partners

Michelle Toner, Head of CSR with open eir, is delighted to be partnering again with Age Action.

“Having witnessed, first-hand, the amazing and inspiring things that last year’s entrants were doing online in their everyday lives, we are even more excited for the 2018 Awards,” she said.

“Our mission is to get communities across Ireland connected and to maximise the benefits of high-speed broadband. The awards recognise and celebrate the amazing activities Silver Surfers are doing online, demonstrating the positive difference it can make.

"It’s great to see so many older people getting online. I would encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for the awards to do so.”

Benefits

Age Action’s new CEO, John Church, highlighted the benefits for older people of getting online.

“The open eir Silver Surfer Awards are all about driving home the benefit of being online to older people with the aim of getting more people to give it a go and we’re delighted to have open eir on board again ,” he explained.

“The awards are also a platform to celebrate older people embracing the digital world and reminds us that learning is a lifelong process. Age should never be a barrier.  

“It is hard to believe but almost one in five adults have never used the internet – that is more than 550,000 people in Ireland and older people are the least likely to be online!”

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Summer Raffle Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our Summer Raffle. We're so grateful to everyone who participated and who raised more than 18,000 euro to support older people in Ireland.

This year's winners were:

1st Prize winner €1,500

S Deegan, Dublin

2nd Prize winner €1,000

A Parks, Dublin

3rd Prize winner €500

M Dangerfield, Dublin

And the winner of our Sellers Prize was:

Sellers Prize €100

M Kane, Galway, €100

Thank you to all who supported the raffle, this is one of our biggest and most reliable fundraisers, so your support makes all the difference.

 

Top tips for staying cool

  • Keep out of the heat. Stay inside during the hottest time of the day – late morning to mid-afternoon. If you do go out, wear a hat and keep to the shade as much as possible. It’s very important to use sun screen of at least factor 15.
  • If you are travelling by car or public transport always take a bottle of water.
  • Avoid strenuous activity and limit activities like housework and gardening to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.
  • When inside, try to stay in the coolest parts of your home. Keep curtains and blinds closed in rooms that catch the sun. Remember that lights generate heat. Keep windows shut while it’s cooler inside than out and open them when it gets hotter inside. If it’s safe, you could leave a window open at night when it’s cooler. Fans can help sweat evaporate but do not cool the air itself.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-coloured cotton clothing.
  • Take cool baths or showers.
  • Splash your face with cold water or place a damp cloth or scarf on the back of your neck to help you cool off.
  • Drink lots of fluid – even if you’re not thirsty. Limit drinks with caffeine (like coffee and cola) and avoid alcohol as it can increase dehydration.
  • Eat normally but try to have more cold foods, particularly salads and fruit as they contain a lot of water.

Dehydration and overheating

Extreme heat and humidity can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs: particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, pale skin, heavy sweating and a high temperature.

If you have any of these symptoms you must:

  • find a cool place and loosen tight clothes
  • drink plenty of water or fruit juice
  • sponge yourself with cold water or have a cool shower.

If you’re having difficulty, or your symptoms persist for several hours, seek medical advice. Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated - but it can also develop suddenly and without warning. The symptoms of heatstroke include hot and red skin, headaches, nausea, intense thirst, raised temperature, confusion, aggression and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition.

So if you or someone else shows symptoms:

  • call 999 immediately or 112 if you are in the European Union (you can call 112 from a mobile for free). If you have a community or personal alarm press the button on your pendant to call for help.
  • while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given above for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.

Further information

If you live alone consider asking a relative or friend to visit or phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.

  • If you know a neighbour who lives alone, check they are ok.
  •  Check for weather forecasts and temperature warnings on TV and radio, and online at  https://www.met.ie/warnings
  • If you have breathing problems or a heart condition your symptoms might get worse when it’s very hot.
  • For further advice about heat-related illness contact your GP.