Loneliness and isolation were never felt as deeply for older people in rural areas as during Covid 19 crisis in March 2020 and the following months. As the situation has eased slightly for most of us returning to work and going about our daily business, it has not been so for the most vulnerable and isolated in rural settings. There had been a great wave of support of many thousands of volunteers to help people over 70s with their food and medicine deliveries. This much appreciated kindness and will to help is still very much needed today. Now even more so for older people with no transport, isolated or living on their own.
NEWKD (North, East & West Kerry Development) works closely with the community and runs many projects such as Home Maintenance Services, Meals on Wheels, Senior Alert Scheme. The need for home social supports is evident in running these services, as older people were reported suffering loneliness and a lack of social contact in their daily lives. NEWKD and RSS (Rural Social Scheme) have been running Home Visitation Service project since 2018 in North Kerry area first as a pilot programme. This innovative project, which links isolated people with others socially in their community, has taken on greater importance in this time of so much uncertainty. We are hoping to extend this service to wider rural areas of North Kerry in October 2020.
Volunteers and RSS participants form an essential part of Home Visitation Service by calling on service user once a week at agreed time to chat to and offer companionship and a listening ear. Home Visitation volunteers are not required to do cleaning, cooking or attend to medical needs, they are there to support and link older people with services that exist in the community, keep a gentle eye on them and making sure they know that someone cares. Commitment from the HSE Community Work Department and the team of HSE Public Health Nurses (PHNs) is a vital part of the Home Visitation Service initiative as well as support from An Garda Siochana and local groups. Should you include Kerry Volunteer Centre?
NEWKD/RSS Home Visitation Service adheres to and implements strict policies and procedures in regards to safety and welfare of the elderly. All volunteers and staff are carefully screened and also Garda vetted.
We are now seeking enthusiastic, kind, sociable and sympathetic volunteers who are willing to chat, listen and socially support one elderly person once a week when visiting in pairs. We are also looking for people over 60 who would like to avail of this free social initiative in areas of: Moyvane, Listowel, Ballydonoghue, Duagh, Causeway, Ballyduff, Tarbert, Ballybunion, Asdee, Ballylongford.
Please contact: NEWKD, 20 William Street Upper, Listowel, Co.Kerry 068/23429 for further details