By Adam Gibbons
COPE Galway has launched a new helpline, aimed at combatting isolation among older people, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The helpline was set up for older people to be able to reach out to the wider community during the crisis, and to encourage the elderly to look after themselves.
The CEO of COPE Galway, Jacquie Horan, said that everyone will have “a role to play in making sure older people in the community are not isolated.
“While it is very important that those in older age brackets protect themselves as much as possible in the coming weeks and months, this will of course, lead to higher levels of loneliness and isolation,” said Ms Horan.
She emphasises that the main message now is for older people who might assume that they do not want to “bother” anyone to “please ask for help”. Additionally, she asks the elderly to let their needs be known and to accept any help that is being offered.
Ms Horan encourages the wider community to help out where they can, and said that while the crisis is making it harder for people to communicate physically, there are ways for people to stay in contact with one another.
“Consider how our grannies and grandads might read stories to their grandchildren over the phone. We can seek and share via social media, the advice from older people, who may have had previous experience of coping with hard times.”
The helpline will operate every Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm.
COPE Galway Helpline for Older People: (085) 8767785