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  • ‘Cocooning must not socially isolate our older population’, says Men’s Sheds Association

    The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA), the representative body for men’s sheds in Ireland, has today said that the ‘cocooning’ of older people must not socially isolate Ireland’s older population. The cocooning measure was introduced on Friday 27th March by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

    Cocooning is where people 70 and over or those extremely medically vulnerable stay within their homes and minimise all non-essential social contact with other members of their household.

    Responding to the cocooning measure, CEO of IMSA Barry Sheridan said:

    “Cocooning will be an effective tool in protecting our older population and those at a significant risk of being seriously affected by coronavirus. However, there are many older people across Ireland already socially isolated, and while we must pull apart physically to protect one another, we must continue to connect socially.

    “The Men’s Sheds in Ireland have been working tirelessly over the last decade to minimise the impact of social isolation on men, that’s why we continue to ask the public to pick up the phone and call someone at risk at social isolation.

    “Our #CallThemForACuppa campaign is a plea to the Irish public to call someone, when you’re having your cup of tea in the morning or wondering what a friend is up to. Pick up the phone, give them a call. You’d be surprised at what the sound of a familiar voice can do in times like these.”

    Men’s sheds, both in the Republic and Northern Ireland, are temporarily closed, however sheds continue to find alternative ways to connect with one another. Sheds have begun hosting virtual art groups, Facebook Live music sessions and helping vulnerable people in their communities.

    -ENDS-

    For more information, please contact:

    Andrew Rooney
    Communications Officer
    Irish Men’s Sheds Association
    E: andrew@menssheds.ie
    M: 086 022 4535 / 085 767 6413

    Website: www.menssheds.ie
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irishmensshedsassociation/
    Twitter: @IrishSheds

    Notes to the editor

    What is cocooning?
    The Department of Health outlines cocooning as being a measure that protects people who are over 70 years of age or those who are extremely medically vulnerable by minimising all interaction between them and others.

    According to the Department of Health, the main cocooning measures are:

    • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new continuous cough.
    • Do not leave your house
    • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services.
    • Do not go out for shopping and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
    • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
    • Do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
    • Ensure you keep phones/devices charged, and have credit on your phone so that you can stay connected

    (Source: Gov.ie)

    Extremely medically vulnerable refers to:

    • People aged 70 years or over
    • Solid organ transplant recipients
    • People with specific cancers

    (Source: Gov.ie)

    About Irish Men’s Sheds Association
    The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) is a member-based organisation and registered charity, having been founded in 2011. The organisation aims to support the development of men’s sheds throughout Ireland and acts as a representative body to carry the message and ethos of men’s sheds onto the national stage.

    There are over 450 men’s sheds across the whole of Ireland, with over 10,000 men attending a shed every week.

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