Did you know the charity, Age UK, recently did a survey that confirmed there are more than 2 million elderly who wish they had someone to spend time with at Christmas?
What makes it even harder is they stated Christmas brings up memories of a loved one who has passed away. These adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation as they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, chronic illness, and hearing loss. Whilst it is important to ensure they feel inclusive on Christmas Day, there are lots of ways to help combat this issue amongst the elderly within your community, not just the festive period. After all, a small gesture can really make a huge impact and give you a sense of purpose!
Get involved in the community
Search for organisations that support the elderly and volunteer your time. Some organisations can also offer a “befriending” service for people who are feeling isolated and rely on volunteers for one-to-one contact. You can either visit them in person or have telephone calls to help them stay connected.
Start a conversation
Stop and talk to an elderly neighbour and ask how they are doing. A simple conversation can inform you how they really are, which can enable you to offer help. Be sure to take into consideration that they may be hard of hearing or have memory problems so speak clearly and slowly, if necessary.
Assist with tasks
Join them on small tasks too help them feel supported such as little shopping trips, gardening, picking up prescriptions or dropping off the post.
Offer to take them to their appointments or social activities. These include doctor appointments, hair appointments, community meet up. You could even take a trip to a local garden centre.