OMM

Elderly people left suffering in isolation

Deputy Pa Daly: Many vulnerable elderly people were left with no additional financial support

THE government has been urged to reestablish a once-off grant in cooperation with Age Action Ireland and the Irish Red Cross to assist vulnerable elderly people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last April both organisations launched the Covid-19 Hardship Fund to provide a grant for people over 65 to purchase resources such as additional fuel, tablets to communicate with family members or increased grocery bills due to cocooning.

Over 21,000 applications were received nationwide but with €103,000 fundraised, only 453 applications have been granted.

Kerry TD Pa Daly Age Action Ireland and the Irish Red Cross petitioned the Department of Social Protection to provide assistance to meet the demand but the calls were ignored.

“This disgraceful response means that many vulnerable elderly people were left with no additional financial support during this difficult and lonely time.

“Many of applicants relied on external supports such as day-care centres which remain closed, meaning that our most vulnerable have been left isolated from their families and the communities they live in,” he said.

Deputy Daly said his office sent out hundreds of application forms to people who were desperate for assistance and he is being contacted regularly by constituents wondering why they were denied.

“Elderly people are one of the most at-risk groups from this virus. For far too long now, they have been overlooked and discarded by governments and now they are suffering in isolation,” the Kerry Sinn Fein TD said.

“We need to lend a helping hand to this vulnerable cohort and support this once-off payment,” he added.

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