Cork TD raises concerns about elderly people still struggling with isolation

Cork TD raises concerns about elderly people still struggling with isolation

Thomas Gould has called on the Government to bring forward measures to support older people who have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

CORK TD Thomas Gould has called on the Government to bring forward measures to support older people who have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

His comments follow a report released recently by the Alliance of Age Sector NGOs, which highlights the impact it has had on elderly people.

“We’ve known from very early on in the pandemic that elderly people were really struggling with the isolation and lockdowns,” the Sinn Féin TD said.

“The huge numbers applying for the Age Action Ireland hardship grant illustrated this. At the time, Age Action sought Government assistance, but the Government just shrugged their shoulders.”

He added that many elderly people are struggling with “high levels of isolation”.

“Still to this day, many day centres remain closed,” he said.

“These are a lifeline for the elderly. For older people who feel excluded from society, reconnecting with young people could renew their connections to the community. 

The Government needs to come together and work with groups like the Alliance of Age Sector NGOs to ensure that older people aren’t continually shut out.

Rose Burns, who is treasurer of the Friendship Group on Shandon St and is also involved with the Shandon Shawlies, said that she and her fellow group members are hoping to resume indoor meetings in the near future.

TD Thomas Gould has called on the Government to bring forward measures to support older people who have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
TD Thomas Gould has called on the Government to bring forward measures to support older people who have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

“The committee is due to meet next week, and we are hoping to reopen once again in September,” she said. “We have missed seeing our friends, swapping stories, and having a laugh. Getting to see people once again will be a big boost. We have to look after our mental health. Going out and meeting people is vital.”

Ms Burns said some senior citizens are still ‘nervous’ in relation to the ongoing pandemic.

“The lockdowns were very tough,” she said. 

It was for our own good, but we were like prisoners in our own homes. People of all ages suffered. It was putting people into depression.

She also highlighted issues with online bookings that are upsetting some senior citizens.

“Some members are having issues with online bookings for bus trips,” she said.

“A lot of people like to take a trip away from the city for the day on the bus. They are disappointed that they can’t get on buses if they haven’t booked online in advance. Senior citizens might not have access to the internet or have somebody there to assist them.

“People are left stranded and they have to wait for the next bus.”

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