Supporting Lonely Elderly People Within Your Community

Supporting Lonely Elderly People Within Your Community

From John Havey

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Reflect On The Elderly Within Your Community

Older members of our community are often the most in need of some extra support; perhaps living alone they may struggle with social isolation. Having lived a full and independent life, they may find it difficult to reach out for help. Take a moment to consider if there might be elderly people around you who would benefit from a little kindness. Those who have trouble with mobility, may have suffered bereavement, or are experiencing illness can go unnoticed as the usual hustle and bustle goes on around them. But you can break this pattern by just being brave and striking up a conversation! We all benefit from connection, even though it can seem intimidating. Practising connecting with others is a great step towards a more rewarding experience. Do they live alone? Do they have family or friends for support? The simple act of offering to help with grocery shopping, lifting something heavy, fixing the television, giving a lift to the doctors, picking up a prescription, or even just having a chat can make a bigger difference to someone’s day that you might imagine. Of course they don’t need to welcome your help, and there is no need to rush someone if they need some time to think about your offer, but your little act of giving might just bring a huge reward for you both.

 

Look Out For The Wellbeing Of Vulnerable Older People

Those who don’t have a strong support network in place can be very vulnerable to a decline in health or the onset of illness. Check in with those around you and look out for signs of seasonal flu or indications that an individual may not be managing to look after themselves properly. If you notice that an older member of your community hasn’t left the house for some time, why not knock on the door with some home-made soup and check they are alright. If you see signs that someone might be struggling to maintain their home or tend to their appearance as they usually would it might well be a warning sign that they need some extra support. Ask if they have loved ones to get in touch with or connect them with local volunteer programs and social support groups. Sometimes all we need is a gentle nudge to let us know it’s OK to accept a helping hand, and that others are around who want to be a part of that support system.

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