Trapped in English Hospitals
Elfy is proud to announce that it will be offering a way to beat loneliness in later life through a befriending and companionship service. We all know what it’s like to feel lonely, but did you know that around 2 million older people regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone?
Get in touch now to hang with someone over or after Christmas!
Here, we explain how befriending and companionship works, and meet some of the older people who’ve benefited from companionship, as well as some of the amazing Elves who make this vital service possible.
The problem of loneliness in later life
People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, or through disability or illness.
Whatever the cause, it’s shockingly easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing. Shockingly, half of all older people consider the television their main form of company.
Joy, 88, from Stockport, found herself on her own after her husband passed away: ‘My husband died and left me on my own. I managed to cope with things and get by at first. But in the last two years it got very lonely and miserable. I saw my daughter once a week, but the rest of the time I was on my own with nobody to talk to. I thought, “This can’t go on with me by myself”.’
Marie enthuses: ‘I’ll be honest I get a kick out of helping them. Sounds silly but I do. You also learn such a lot from them. Even though I’m 60, I’ve never been through a war. We recently started chatting about Christmas, and how she didn’t get any presents during the war.’
The Elfy Way
The services work by matching people in need with a charities or individuals, who provide friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long or short period of time.
Services can include for example:
•Walking the dog
•Going to collect pension or visiting the bank
•Shopping for food, clothes or other items
•Going to leisure activities
•Enjoying a chat over a cup of tea
•Company while doing crafts or hobbies
•Playing cards, chess, draughts, etc
•Going to a day service
•Using public transport
•Company and transport for doctor and hospital appointments
Elfy believes that this vital service provides a link to the outside world and often acts as a gateway for other services and valuable support.
How to get involved
If you know of a person who you feel might benefit from Elfy´s services, or you’d just like to find out more, please get in touch.