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Covid-19 Information and Advice for Older/ Vulnerable People
Date added
Added: Thursday, March 26, 2020

Social welfare payments
All social welfare payments currently in payment will be paid as usual.
Special arrangements have been put in place for post office customers getting pensions and payments from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). If you can’t collect your DEASP payment personally at your post office, you can nominate a person (Temporary Agent) to collect the payment on your behalf. The person collecting the payment must bring your Public Services Card (this is also your Free Travel Pass), and their own valid photographic ID like a passport, driving licence or Public Services Card..

The new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is for people aged between 18 and 66 who have lost employment related to coronavirus.

The enhanced Illness Benefit payment is for people aged between 18 and 66 who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been medically required to self-isolate. You can read general information about social welfare payments and coronavirus.

The DEASP has an income support helpline for people impacted by coronavirus. The information team can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances and give information about how to apply. Call (01) 2481398 or 1890800024

Support services for older people

ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties during the coronavirus restrictions. The support line will be open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024, and hours may be extended to meet demand.

SeniorLine provides a Freefone service every day of the year 10am-10pm, including all public holidays. Callers concerned about coronavirus will get the most up-to-date guidance recommended by Government sources. You can contact Senior Line on 1800 80 45 91.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provides advice and support for vulnerable people living alone (pdf) during the coronavirus pandemic. While the group does not offer personalised medical advice, their service can direct you towards reliable sources of information. You can contact the Alzheimer National Helpline team on 1800 341 341, by email at helpline@alzheimer.ie or via Live Chat at alzheimer.ie.

The Age Action Information Service also provides a service for older people to ensure that they can access accurate and timely information about the virus. The service is available Monday to Friday 9.30am—5pm on 01 4756989.

If you are a cancer patient or a former cancer patient, you can get information and advice from the Irish Cancer Society. Cancer Nurseline: Freephone 1800 200 700 (Monday-Friday 9-5) General enquiries: 01-2310500

The Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS) is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board to provide a comprehensive and confidential telephone information service. You can contact CIPS by phone from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, on 0761 07 4000.
Galway office: 0761 07 7600

CIPS also operates a Live Advisor instant chat service for people with hearing and speech difficulties and others who have difficulty communicating by telephone. Live Advisor is available between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Friday).

Other useful local numbers:
St. Vincent de Paul Loughrea: 086 0551134
Loughrea Helpline for elderly and vulnerable: 087 2756079
Loughrea Primary Care Centre, Lake Road: 091 847820 / 872700
Intreo (social welfare office) Loughrea: 091 576870
Loughrea Family & Community Resource Centre: 091 871149
086 3449950


Pharmacies
Pharmacies across the country will remain open and medicines will continue to be available to treat patients.
Loughrea Pharmacies:
Killians: 091 841589
Walshs: 091 870928
Lakeshore: 091 842490
Leahys: 091 841236
Weavers:  091 871380
Brogans: 091 842527
Some Local Link services have offered to deliver critical medical supplies to older people, and other vulnerable groups, within rural areas during the coming weeks. To find out more contact your Local Link provider. Galway Local Link: 091 842384

Utilities
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), along with the gas and electricity suppliers recognise that some customers may be isolated at home over the coming days and weeks.
With effect from 8am on 17 March 2020, the following measures have been put in place to help you remain connected to your electricity and gas supplies during this period:
• Domestic disconnections are suspended until 29 March
• Emergency credit levels for prepaid (Pay As You Go) gas meters will increase from €10 to €100
• Suppliers will offer online and over the phone top up services if you have a prepaid (Pay As You Go) electricity meter and cannot reach a shop

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