5 Amazing Initiatives that Help to Combat Elderly Loneliness
Loneliness in the elderly is something we’re working to stop. We want to change the perception that feeling lonely as an older person in the UK is completely normal. As social creatures, being around other people is a basic need that we’re committed to helping those living in Westgate care homes meet. Through coffee mornings, tea afternoons and a wide range of other events, we help our residents meet like-minded people, chat, laugh, share memories and even make some new ones!
But we’re not the only ones working to reduce elderly loneliness. Here are a few fantastic initiatives that are making a big difference to the lives of elderly people in the UK.
Age UK’s Befriending Service
Age UK’s befriending service is available at many local Age UK venues around the country. It joins together older people with a friend who will pay them a visit in their home once or twice a week. That could be for a cup of tea, a good chat or an outing to a café, the theatre or some other activity.
If it’s more convenient, the befriending service is also available over the phone. A volunteer with similar interests will arrange to call an older person at an agreed time for a friendly conversation and long-term companionship.
Click here to find out more about this initiative to reduce elderly loneliness.
RNIB’s Telephone Book Clubs
Do you have a passion for books and reading but suffer from sight loss? Each of the RNIB’s Telephone Book Clubs consists of up to eight people and is hosted by a friendly volunteer. The group has a telephone conversation for an hour a month so you can discuss the book you’re reading from the comfort of your own home. As a group, you’ll choose from a varied range of books available in the form of talking books, CD, braille, MP3 or large print.
Click here to find out more.
Age UK’s Friendship Centres
Age UK operates a number of friendship centres across the country to combat loneliness in the elderly and help people meet up and make friends in their local area. The friendship centres are run by groups of active older people who meet on a regular basis to enjoy a range of social activities. That includes everything from tenpin bowling and theatre visits to pub lunches, holidays and days out.
Find a friendship centre near you here.
Contact the Elderly’s Tea Parties
Tea, a chat and a generous slice of cake is not a bad way to spend the afternoon. Supported by a network of volunteers, Contact the Elderly’s monthly Sunday tea parties welcome groups of older people aged 75 who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation.
You can find out more here.
The University of the Third Age
The University of the Third Age, also known as U3A, offers learning and development courses specifically for older people. You can learn a new skill or share your knowledge with others while making new friends. There are no exams or homework, so you can learn new skills and knowledge just for the fun of it.
You can learn everything from arts and crafts, gardening and photography to literature, language and computer skills. Groups meet in local libraries, village halls, churches and community centres and even in people’s homes. If you live in an isolated area, you can use the Virtual U3A, an online forum and discussion group that puts you in touch with older people around the world.
Find out more here.
Making elderly loneliness a thing of the past
At Westgate Healthcare, we arrange activities like baking classes and brain training groups to visits from friendship dogs, as well as many other activities, to make everyone feel like part of the community. Get in touch to find out more about these or our care homes in general.