Loneliness in older people is becoming more and more common; whether due to the loss of a loved one or family/friends moving away. Age UK state that more than a million over 75s in England go over a month without speaking to a neighbour,
friend or member of their family .
Loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes daily. Loneliness can feel much worse over the festive period, with half a million elderly people spending Christmas alone; PlumCare have some small ways you can make a big difference to someone who may be feeling lonely.
Visit a neighbour or friend
Popping in for a cup of tea can make such a difference to someone who is feeling quite isolated, especially if they’re housebound. There’s nothing quite like a face to face chat and a cup of tea to lift someone’s spirits.
Cook a meal
When making dinner, prepare a little extra for someone you think may be lonely. Older people may not feel like going to the trouble of cooking a meal for one, so home cooked food will be greatly appreciated.
Make a call
Take some time to call or video chat with a loved who lives far away. Something as simple as a phone call can really cheer someone and is a great way to stay in touch with those who aren’t local.
Yes, smile! A smile is such a small gesture but can make an isolated older person feel visible and can really brighten up their day. Smile or say hello to the older people in your community over Christmas and New Year.
Several organisations are working to help tackle loneliness nationwide; the Royal Voluntary Service offers support in Bromley and across the UK, The Silver Line have a confidential helpline open 24 hours a day all year round and Contact the Elderly host free monthly tea parties in the community. There are also a number of support and social groups in Bromley, with something for everyone.
Companionship is at the heart of everything we do here at PlumCare; if you or a loved one may need a little help, contact our friendly team on 020 3915 2448.