Winter is a time when caring for the more vulnerable in society can be critical
At our homes, we hold big social gatherings for all the residents where we invite all the families including the children, but this is not the case for many older people. Many do have not have family or friends around them and often spend much of the day alone.
If you know someone round the corner from you who you know lives alone, why not make the effort to say hello or pop in? We all have increasingly busy lives, but little things can really make a difference this time of year. Also, if that person is elderly, it’s always a good idea to check they are warm enough. Multiple layers that are easy to get on and off are warmer and better than a single thicker layer and good sturdy slippers with non-slip soles are always useful too. Plus, check they are eating at least one hot meal a day (many do not).
There are lots of groups set up for older people to help combat loneliness and the perils of the winter months. Age UK is running a fantastic campaign at the moment too which highlights the fact that over 1 million older people are alone and locally there are some great local services such as the ‘Good Neighbour‘ service run by the West Sussex branch of the Royal Voluntary Service. We also offer day care for those who might need a bit more security during the day but still want independence at night, just call us to find out more.
The truth is though that every winter our hospitals fill with old people who suffer from illness caused by the cold, or slip on ice, or who are malnourished. So when Winter is over, please don’t stop that kindness, that person will still need you – all year round.
Your small acts of kindness could really make a world of difference.