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DT1: TOWN TALK: Scandal of chronic loneliness
12:00pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
Age UK Dorchester information and advice volunteer Melonie Brewer writes . . .
This month we have heard Jeremy Hunt talk of the “national shame” that as many as 800,000 people in England are “chronically lonely” and that as a society we have failed to confront this.
Imagine being in a resident in a 20 bed care home but knowing only one of you will get a visit from a relative on Christmas Day.
This is what happened at a care home in Dorset. Our advisors frequently encounter calls from lonely people. Many left alone through the loss of a spouse or through painful family breakdowns, who have absolutely no one to talk to and who desperately need help through a difficult period of their life.
We try to help here at Age UK in Dorchester. There is obviously the support line for telephone calls and we also offer a visiting befriending service.
This works by assigning each older person with a volunteer befriender, who will provide friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis.
This vital service can also provide a link to the outside world and can be a valuable gateway for other services. To further support social interaction amongst the elderly we offer lunch clubs, trips and various activities, all very suitable for single people to join in.
Please do give us a ring and see what may interest you. Also, maybe you feel you could give some time to become a befriender of an elderly person, again your support would be most welcome.
Call us on 01305 269444 and find a new friend!
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