You might not be lonely, but someone you know could be.
Loneliness can profoundly impact the health and state of mind of an older person; this can sometimes be due to the death of a spouse or a close friend, or they may not just receive enough everyday social contact.
If you think you know someone who is suffering from loneliness, its important you take action sooner than later – loneliness can impact your loved ones mental, emotional and physical health. It is imperative to tackle the subject no matter how much your loved one insists that they are ‘okay’.
We’ve rounded up our top five tips on how you can change an elderly person’s life today!
Tip One: Let Them Know You’re Available
Always keep in touch, whether it’s by phone, email or in person – just let them know someone is there to support them. Start a conversation sometimes it isn’t always easy to know who or how to help, its best to simply stop and talk to an elderly neighbour if you pass them on the street.
Tip Two: Offer to Take Them Out
Did you know an elderly person who lives alone, rarely leaves the house, this could be down to bereavement, poor health, disabilities, hearing or sight loss; they also may not have any close family living by.
They may need help with daily tasks such as shopping, picking up prescriptions and medicines or even taking their dog for a walk. You could offer to accompany them or give them a lift to any activities or appointments.
Tip Three: Help with Household Tasks
Simple jobs can become difficult as we get older, and often elderly people appreciate the help with basic chores such as taking out the rubbish, changing lightbulbs, etc. Helping an elderly neighbour or relative with these everyday chores can be a big gesture to someone who struggles with these everyday tasks.
Tip Four: Help Them Try Something New
If they have an interest or hobby, encourage them to join a local group, from a chess club to a dance class, it allows them to socialise and meet knew friends, you could even offer to join them in their first class if they’re nervous to go alone. Another way to try something new is to discover ways of staying in touch, from emails to social medial, you could even support them to join a local computer club.
Tip Five: Share Your Time
Become a volunteer, there are often many “befriending” schemes which are isolated for elderly people. You could schedule a weekly phone call or regular home visits for a chat or to help someone go shopping, take a person to a social event or of coffee morning.
There are many organisations you can find more information on “befriending” an elderly person or join an organisation.