How to do your bit to help older people in your community feel less isolated?
Startling new figures reveal the extent of loneliness being experienced by our older generation.
It is estimated that a million older people in the UK haven’t spoken to anyone for a month.
Around five million older people consider their TV to be their main form of companionship, while almost 600,000 only leave their house once a week or less.
But if you know an older person or people within your community – why not do something to get them out of house and have some fun!
Jellyatrics’ ideas to get older people involved in the community
Here are some ideas:
- Try to find the local branch of your nearest older people charity and give some of your free time volunteering.
- Invite an elderly neighbour to join you and your family for Sunday lunch. Did you know an estimated third of people aged over 70 eat alone, every day?
- Get together with other members of the community and organise a tea dance, game of Bingo or board games day at your local village hall / community centre.
- Set up a rota with friends to take turns to be a designated driver for older neighbours who need to go shopping or attend GP/ hairdresser or other appointments.
- Set up a club – something like a weekly knitting club or other activity to give those attending a regular date to look forward to.
Loneliness Issue – Christmas
The subject of loneliness is even being taken on by the High Street – check out the new John Lewis Christmas advert if you haven’t seen it yet – everyone needs someone to love at Christmas.
One of the leading charities addressing loneliness is The Silverline – a confidential, free helpline for older people.
The charity, founded by Dame Esther Rantzen, uses trained helpline staff to:
– Offer information, friendship and advice
– Link callers to local groups and services
– Offer regular befriending calls
– Protect and support those who are suffering abuse and neglect
For more information about using the service or volunteering, visit the website.