As we move towards re-opening, many of our members are excited about returning to some level of “normality”. We recognise, however, that there are also members who are anxious and worried about the easing of restrictions. We are here to support all members and we call on all in society to act with kindness and compassion.
Older people have experienced great difficulty throughout the pandemic in terms of cocooning, loneliness, isolation, worry, health concerns etc. Two members of our Executive, President Imelda Browne and Manus O’Donnell spoke to the Irish Examiner recently about their experiences.
Imelda discussed her experiences of ageing throughout the pandemic in terms of not being able to visit her mother who was in a nursing home. Imelda also acknowledged that some of our members were uncomfortable with public transport and that there is an element of fear.
I was involved in a lot of things in the community — that has been taken away from me for no reason other than my age
Manus O’Donnell to the Irish Examiner
Manus O’Donnell shared his thoughts on the detrimental impact on older people’s independence, wellbeing and sense of self as a result of the pandemic. Manus spoke about being unable to hug his grandchildren and actively participate in community activities as he had pre-pandemic. Health was another topic covered by Manus, most notably in relation to having been previously diagnosed with cancer and not being able to attend regular clinical visits which is of course a worry.
As we stated in Telling it like it is (a report carried out with Age Alliance) older people have been severely and negatively impacted throughout Covid-19. We want each of our members to know that we are here to support them. We know that the last 22 months have been difficult for our members and we acknowledge that there are mixed feelings as we move towards the next phase of the pandemic.