Beating loneliness in the elderly Channel 4. People take mobility and socialising for granted. To be able to go out and meet with friends, to go shopping or even just a simple walk, but for some people it’s not so easy.
Think of our elderly, how some of our older generation are unable to leave their house or nursing home due to their lack of mobility, but lacking the ability to leave the home leads to isolation. How does that feel? How would you feel? Having no one but yourself or residential home mates for company. Our older generation often miss out on visits from their grandchildren, their own children, due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Going to school, working jobs, caring for families of their own. Sometimes it’s hard to fit everyone in, leading to some people having to take a back seat.
But one thing that has proved to be an extraordinary uplift for our elderly, is visits from the local school children. Now you may be wondering ‘How?’ or ‘Why would that lift someone’s spirits?’ Studies have shown almost 75% of older people in the UK alone feel loneliness, and interacting with the children rekindles memories from socialising with their own families. Having the presence of a young one for company, with a brightening smile on their face has a positive effect on anyone. Imagine how it would make our older generation feel. Not only does it give elderly care patients a sense of meaning, that they aren’t forgotten, it also brightens our children’s social skills.
Meeting new people, learning new things, but also teaching new lessons….
Allowing our generations children to ‘teach’ their skills to our elderly, not only boosts their confidence but allows our older generation to learn again. The elderly may not be able get up and walk, but that doesn’t stop the use of their hands to paint, play games and read books with young ones.
The elderly need as much socialisation as anyone else, so next time you pass a care home, think of how lonely that person could be inside. Would you spend an afternoon lifting an elder’s spirits? Or even take the kids to see their Grandma and Grandad? You would be amazed to see how much joy it not only brings to them but to yourself as well.