Fianna Fáil Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor has supported calls made by ALONE for people to check in on older people over the festive period.

ALONE is a charity that supports older people to age at home. The organisation has highlighted that many older people can feel isolated at Christmas time.

Senator Murnane O’Connor said, “Christmas can be a difficult time for many older people and loneliness is one of the main issues that they face. Many older people think that by asking for help and support they are bothering people. Therefore it’s important that each and every one of us makes the extra effort to connect with older people over Christmas.

“Many services that older people rely on, such as postal services, banking facilities and medical supports, are curtailed over the Christmas holidays. People need to make the extra effort to check in on their neighbours, friends and family to make sure they have all they need to enjoy Christmas.

“There are a number of ways that the public can help older people this Christmas. I’d encourage the public to call in to older people to say hello. It’s important that we make sure they have enough food, medication and comfort so they can enjoy the Christmas holiday. It’s especially important that we make sure their houses are adequately heated as we are now approaching the height of the winter season.

“Social contact makes a huge difference to the lives of older people. Let’s all make the extra effort this Christmas to extend the hand of friendship to older people living in our communities.”