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Elementor #1566

A Snapshot | How Ireland is responding to COVID-19 (24/03/20200)

  • Leading stores such as SuperValu, Tesco, Lidl and others have scheduled older customer only hours. These are between 9am and 11am to ensure the shelves are stocked as older people are anxious about those who are stock piling. They have also introduced floor markings to adhere to the 2metre social distancing recommendations. They have ensured that there are limits on purchases in the response to stock piling. At local level smaller shops are ramping up home deliveries particularly essential services such as prescriptions from pharmacies. Local restaurants (a lot of which have closed down temporarily) are continuing to cook meals for older people and delivering them in the community
  • An Post have introduced extended opening hours and have worked with Department of Social Protection to introduce emergency “Temporary Agents” who can collect pensions on behalf of those who are self-quarantining or self-isolating. An Post have also introduced extended opening hours
  • An Garda Siochana have deployed 200 contingency vehicles to enable community police officers to deliver provisions to older people and check up on those who are most isolated and don’t have a support structure in place. They have also accelerated the vetting process to ensure volunteers can be processed to enable them to volunteer at local level especially with essentials like meals on wheels and others
  • A national call was made for retired health care staff (doctors, nurses) to return to work. The “Be on call for Ireland” initiative was launched on Monday night by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Prime Minister). To date they have had over 50,000 registrations for work from retired people, people returning from abroad etc
  • Banks have been asked to suspend charges on contactless payments. They’re also providing a package to freeze repayments on mortgages and loans for 3 months to support those who have lost their jobs. Simultaneously they are providing a support package for small businesses that have been forced to close. This will be a support to many older people who are still working or still running their own small businesses
  • At local level sporting clubs, community groups and others are telephoning local older people regularly, collecting their shopping and dropping them at the doors. This daily check in has been an invaluable support to thousands across Ireland
  • Health care workers raised the issue of their vehicles being clamped particularly near their places of work (hospitals, primary care centres etc..). Now clamping in some areas has been suspended and the clamping staff have been redeployed to deliver shopping and supplies to older people. HSE Director General has called for a suspension on all parking charges for health care workers at hospitals
  • A huge volume of physical activity programmes are moving from gym based classes to home based classes and delivering them to older people through Facebook and online platforms. This is especially important to older people who wish to remain physically active
  • RTE are scheduling a daily viewing of mass for older people who are unable to go to church on a daily basis
  • Good Morning Call Services across the country at both local and national level are scaling up their services and phoning greater volumes of older people
  • The Department of Rural & Community Development released an information pack in relation to the community response particularly around the call for volunteers
  • An Garda Siochana issued a press release to announce the suspension of the requirement for over 70’s (except those with an identified or specified illness) to provide medical report when applying for a driving licence in light of the need to facilitate social distancing and the expected additional burdens on medical services
  • GAA Clubs across the country have responded significantly to support their local communities. One Age Friendly Programme area is working closely with statutory agencies and the GAA, setting up an operations hub, conducting a leaflet drop to thousands of older people and much more
  • Whilst Libraries have closed their doors to the public, they are working very closely to provide online services digitally which ensures a safe way to access eBooks, audiobooks, digital newspapers and magazines which is particularly beneficial to older people
  • Younger people who aren’t at school are being encouraged to become pen pals with older people living in local long-term care facilities. A lovely example of integrational communications and building friendships

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