Wednesday 18 September 2019

Give an hour and gain an hour campaign aims to help combat loneliness in Ireland

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Loneliness affects around 400,000 people in Ireland — and it increases with age.

More than a third of people aged 50 and over reported feeling lonely often, or some of the time and it rises to 45pc for the over-75s.

The figures were revealed during the launch of a campaign, urging more people to spend an hour in the company of an older relative or neighbour or other acquaintance. The campaign is being conducted by the organisation, ‘Making Connections’ which operates in Dublin.

Chief executive Mary O’Donohue said: “The older population is one of Ireland’s greatest untapped resources.

“This year, ‘Making Connections’ is highlighting the contribution of the older generation. Give an Hour, Gain an Hour 2018 Campaign is inviting you to benefit from those nuggets of wisdom and life experience and share it online so that others can benefit too: older people have seen and lived through so much and can help us avoid mistakes through their experiences.”

She said just one hour and five steps can help tackle stereotyping, isolation and loneliness — and inspire others to connect the generations. It’s also a great way to find out something you never knew about a friend or family member, and it’s fun and simple.

◊ CONNECT: Contact an older person (friend or family) who you know, but don’t normally have time for.

◊ GIVE: Spend an hour together —

at home, a café, the cinema, anywhere you like.

◊ GAIN: Ask their advice on whatever you like.

◊ POST: Share the advice on your social channel of choice. It can be a text, image, video, whatever you prefer..

◊ #ADVICETOMYOLDERSELF: The hashtag to help share these nuggets of wisdom, inspire others to connect, and have fun in the process.

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