This week is Loneliness Awareness Week (17 – 21 June 2019). To recognise this, we’re looking at how we can all help elderly people in our local communities to feel less lonely. We know that loneliness is one of the biggest challenges facing our elderly population.
Loneliness Awareness Week is run by Marmalade Trust, a charity dedicated to recognising loneliness across society and helping people to make new friendships.
It’s their vision to create a society where loneliness is recognised openly as something likely to affect us all. According to Marmalade Trust, one of the first steps to achieving their vision is to reduce the stigma around loneliness. This is the theme for Loneliness Awareness Week 2019.
The charity is using the hashtag #LetsTalkLoneliness to encourage conversation. It’s asking people to make the pledge ‘It’s ok to say that I’ve been lonely.’
In our last blog for Volunteers’ Week, we looked at some of the charities that are working hard to fight loneliness and help elderly people living alone to live full, happy lives.
How can I help?
Today, we’ve come up with five suggestions of ways that you can make a difference to the lives of elderly people in your community:
Knock on the door of an elderly neighbour: make some time to pop around and see how your neighbour is doing. Making someone feel less lonely might be as simple as asking someone how they are feeling.
Next time you go to the supermarket, ask an elderly neighbour if they need you to pick anything up for you or offer to take them shopping.
Invite a neighbour around for a cup of tea and a chat.
Teach an elderly friend or relative how to use their computer, tablet or smartphone to communicate with friends and family members. Skype, or even email, can make a big difference to how in touch they feel with their loved ones.
Suggest an outing: depending on how mobile your neighbour is, suggest walking to the local shops, the library or around the park.
There is also some useful advice about helping people who are lonely on the NHS website here.
We hope this post has given you some ideas of ways to help elderly people in your community feel less lonely.