Elderly Loneliness Doesn't Stop Being A Problem Once Christmas Ends – But Helping Is So, So Easy

How about a New Year's resolution that makes you feel good – but also changes someone else's life?

Elderlyisolation

Remember that John Lewis ad that broke all of our collective hearts this Christmas

Of course you do.

The ad was produced in partnership with Age Action UK, and was praised for bringing attention to the challenges faced by the elderly at that particular time of year.

Unfortunately, though, this harsh reality doesn't cease to exist once the Christmas decorations are packed away – and right here in Dublin, thousands of older people face loneliness and isolation every day.

Social isolation is a huge issue for older people in Ireland; loneliness has been determined to be twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people, and research has proven that dementia, high blood pressure and mental health deterioration are all accelerated by loneliness.

So what can we do about it?

We can all fall victim to making those grand lofty resolutions for the new year – you know the ones that sound really achievable December 31, mildly doable on January 2 and absolutely out of the question by January 10?

Well, this New Year could be your opportunity to take up something that not only makes you feel good, but makes a huge difference to your community as well – by donating just one hour out of your week to help end elderly isolation.

The Making Connections befriending network is a charity based in Dublin that facilitates inter-generational befriending programmes, pairing volunteers with older members of the community who are living independently.

Something as simple as a regular visitor can greatly improve a person's quality of life and help them maintain their independence.

The volunteer then visits the older person for one hour a week, for a minimum period of nine months.

Some volunteers help the older person write their memoirs, some do art or go for walks, while others just have a pot of tea and a chat. All, however, make a massive difference.

Something as simple as a regular visitor can greatly improve a person's quality of life and help them maintain their independence.

An hour a week may not seem like a lot to you – but to someone else, it could absolutely change their life.

If you are interested in Volunteering for the Inter-generational Befriending Programme, Please email Info@makingconnections.ie to obtain an application pack.

More information can be found on the website: www.makingconnections.ie 

Written By

Naomi Gould – Making Connections

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