Our befriending team recently came across an old news article from the Daily Mail (Jenny Hope, Feb 2011) which reported on the impact of loneliness among the elderly.
It stated that ‘loneliness is the ‘hidden killer’ of the elderly which threatens health as much as obesity or smoking.’ according to campaigners.
We were taken aback to read such a statement, yet sadly not surprised. We have met elderly people whose only company is the television and who go for days without seeing or speaking to a single person. And the answer to this solution is something so simple, something that doesn’t even take much time, something that each and every one of us can be a part of. It’s simply to notice, take time and make friends.
We have a formal team of people set up who visit those isolated people in Norwich who have no one to visit them but we can all begin to notice the people in our flats, the people on our road, the lady we bump into at the post office and give them some of our time.
This week why don’t you make a conscious decision to pause and give people more of your time. Maybe there’s someone on your street who you don’t think gets any visitors – next time you see them why not stop to say hello? How about popping a nice card through their letter box to let them know someone is thinking of them? These simple things can truly make a big difference.