In this week’s news round up we cover three stories concerning the elderly that have hit the headlines over the past week.
Isolated Elderly People Given New Lease of Life
The first story of interest featured in The Mirror this week was that of Pride of Britain winner Fraser Johnston spending all his spare time taking care home residents out on trips into the Scottish countryside. According to the article “More than half a million older people only go outside once a week or less” and feel isolated in their homes, something that 20-year-old Fraser is determined to change.
Fraser recently won the Pride of Britain TSB Community Partner award for his life changing work with the elderly. Some of his work includes setting a ‘Cycling Without Age’ scheme which has over 30 volunteers associated with it and rolled out to over 150 care home residents.
I’d done a lot of work in the community before to get people outside but I really wanted to find a way to get the elderly out and about. I had seen the work Cycling Without Age have done in Denmark and thought that it would be a perfect way to reach out to pensioners over here. I started by taking a couple of women to the Kelpies as they had never seen them – despite living only a few miles away. They loved it so much they wanted to go again, as did some of their friends in the care home. So, anytime I was free, I went through and took them out. They saw things outside which helped jog memories from their past. The rides help stimulate the minds of those with dementia. When they get back to their care home, they are more sociable and it helps to improve their overall quality of life.”
Fraser has raised over £43,000 for his scheme, with help from a crowdfunding page. Speaking in the article, he said how he doesn’t just want to stop at this, and aims to give back to the elderly even more by hoping to get every care home across the country a bicycle scheme to get residents active.
Fraser’s story is a heartwarming reminder of how some people give back to the community and take the time to appreciate our older generation. It’s important that we look out for our elderly friends, family and neighbours – particularly those who are frail and live alone. Isolated feelings and loneliness is a huge issue among our elder generation and something that needs to be tackled.
Isolation and loneliness aren’t the same thing, and often the most effective way to combat loneliness is tackling isolation first. According to the Age Uk:
“Befriending schemes have proved one of the more effective services for combating both isolation and loneliness, but they are best used in conjunction with other services. Group activities are particularly useful in helping older people out.”
It’s common that loneliness and isolation occur among the elderly because of factors such as becoming widowed or having no children and family. We like to stress the importance of looking after the elderly. Our service aims to help those who live alone and feel isolated. If you know of any family member or neighbor who might be isolated or lonely and needs help at home a Careline alarm might be the perfect aid if they want to retain their Independence.
Elderly woman conned out of £6,000
The second story we are going to highlight this week is the story of an elderly woman who had £6000 stolen from her in a scam where thieves posed as police officers.
Hampshire police say the woman, who is in her 80s, gave out bank details over the phone after receiving a call from the scammers. They claimed to be investigating fraudulent transactions from her account and asked her to withdraw the money, which she should give to a courier. The woman, from Test Valley, handed over £6,000, before realising it was a con when the fraudsters tried to get even more money from her.
This is a story that we come across too often at Careline. There’s numerous scams, both online and over the telephone, that are being targeted towards the elderly who are deemed more vulnerable and likely to pass on personal details. It’s important that the elderly are made aware of such scams and know never to give any personal details out to anyone they don’t know, even if they act as bank officials or the police, they would never ask for such details in a manner like this story.
If you need hints and tips of the type of scams targeted at the elderly or want further advice visit Which.
A new project set to tackle undernourishment
A new project in Dundee is set to tackle the issue of undernourishment among the over-65s — and needs the help of locals to take off. The story reported in the Evening Telegraph highlighted the issue of how many over 65’s suffer from not eating enough. Undernourishment is different to malnourished, which is those who don’t eat enough of the right nutritious foods.
In the article Darryl Gaffney stated that:
There are about 20,000 people in the NHS Tayside area who are considered undernourished. It can stem from poverty, for example, or if someone has recently been bereaved and their partner did all the cooking — people can feel a bit lost. Older people are also more vulnerable to the choice of food or fuel, choosing between eating or turning on a heater in one room. We need to see through local people’s eyes what the challenges are to maintaining a healthy weight.
The project set up allows elderly people to attend an event to not only learn about undernourishment but also to get a free lunch. This is a great scheme to make people aware of the issue, and at the same time provide those elderly people who might not be eating enough, the opportunity to sit down and social while getting a free meal.