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Back to Mental health and wellbeing Loneliness in the elderly: how to help There are lots of ways you can do your bit to help lonely or socially isolated elderly people in your community.
Volunteering for an organisation that supports older people is a key way of helping a lonely or socially isolated older person. But a simple friendly chat or phone call can make all the difference, too. It's likely to boost your self-esteem and sense of purpose.
And helping others takes your mind off your own problems for a while. Start a conversation It's not always easy to know who or how to help. A good start is simply to stop and talk to an elderly neighbour if you pass them on the street. If you think an peiple person may have trouble hearing or has memory problems, make sure to speak clearly but don't shout!
Pause between sentences and questions to give ylur chance to digest the information. And allow a little extra time for them to respond — don't hurry them.
Offer practical help Do arsa know an older person who lives alone, rarely leaves the house, has recently suffered a bereavement, is in poor health, disabled, has sight or hearing loss, or doesn't seem to have close family living nearby? Share your time Volunteer for organisations that support older people.
These often offer "befriending" schemes for isolated elderly people, and rely on volunteers for one-to-one contact as a telephone "buddy", visitor or driver, or hosting social events yohr groups. Your contribution could be as simple as a weekly telephone call to an isolated older person, or extend to regular home visits for a chat and to help with shopping and so on, areq an elderly person to a social event, or even hosting coffee mornings for groups of elderly people.
Contact the Elderly holds monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for overs and needs volunteer drivers and hosts. The Silver Line needs people to help man this new helpline for older people. Help with household tasks Getting older can make it hard to tackle even simple jobs around the house. Older people often really appreciate any offer of chat with people in your area with basic chores such as taking out the rubbish, changing light bulbs, fastening sash windows, clearing snow off the path, putting up pictures, and so on.
As well as being practical, it's a nice way to share your time with a neighbour.
Start a conversation
Here are some quick and easy recipes for delicious winter-warming meals. The Casserole Club is a project that connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a delicious home-cooked meal with older neighbours living close by who could really benefit from a hot, cooked meal. Watch out for s of winter illness Older people are particularly vulnerable chat with people in your area the winter as cold weather increases their risk of illnesses, such as coldscoughsfluheart attacksstrokesbreathing problems and hypothermia a dangerous fall in body temperature.
Look out for s of serious illness, such as drowsiness, slurred speech and the person not complaining of feeling cold even in a bitterly cold room. Read about ways to keep warm and well.
If you're worried, ask if arsa a relative or wjth friend you can phone, or call their doctor or NHS You could also contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on Read about 10 winter illnesses that are triggered or worsened by cold weather. Useful resources If you suspect your parents are lonely, read the When They Get Older website's loneliness guide. Mind's guide on how to cope with loneliness has advice on how to help someone you know who's lonely.