There are over 350,000 older people living in Northern Ireland. And over the next twenty years that figure is expected to increase by 30%.

As the number of older people increases so does the pressure on our services. That’s why we need your help.

If you can, please donate to our Summer Appeal today and help us provide emotional support, care and advice to vulnerable older people like Jean. Read her story below 


Jean's Story 

Jean received help from our First Connect service to help her cope with the loneliness and grief she was experiencing after the death of her sister. She kindly agreed to share her story with us.

‘I’m 93. Sometimes I’m alright, but sometimes I’m very, very lonely. I can’t leave the flat unaccompanied any more as I’m not steady enough on my feet. Before I got help from Age NI, I often didn’t see another person from one day to the next.

I took early retirement when I was 57, and I was able to see a bit of the world, along with my sister. One of my favourite trips that we went on was when we went to Disneyland in America, it was just out of this world.

It’s nice to look back on that. I’ve had a good life.

But I’m 93 now. My sister passed away more than 10 years ago. Since she died I’ve been so lonely. When she passed away it broke my heart. I still miss her.

I got my cat, Misty, after my sister died. She became my best friend. In the mornings she would climb into bed beside me, and she never left my side. For a time there Misty was the only regular company I had day in and day out.

Thankfully, I’m now getting support from Age NI. They take care of me, and I now have a volunteer, Gllian, who comes and spends time with me every week. Gillian takes me out to lovely places like Malone Lodge, but sometimes we just stay in and have a chat. I look forward to her coming. Having her company has made a great difference.

I also now get a good morning call, four days a week. It’s so reassuring knowing that someone will be calling to check that I’m ok. And it’s also a chance to just have a nice wee chat.

Loneliness is truly the worst thing I have ever had to face. Getting support from Age NI has really been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. The staff and volunteers are such good people. They look after me. I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done.’

If you or anyone you know are facing any of these issues please call our Advice and Advocacy service on Freephone 0808 808 7575.