Friday, October 31, 2008

Helping address loneliness in the elderly

Today's blog is based on an article I just read on the BBC (and was picked up by our AP).
It talks about the million people in the UK who are suffering with loneliness. A research study found that "half a million only leave their houses one a week, and a further 300,000 are entirely housebound." Of course, the tough economic times are only increasing their despair and loneliness.

The UK charity, Help the Aged, is launching a campaign to provide 25,000 people, with a Christmas dinner with friends.

As I finished reading the article, I realized there are likely many elderly in our local communities who find themselves in a similar state; people who can't afford or endure travel to their families or who are just isolated due to life situations.

So, I put out this challenge to each person reading this blog. Reach out to an elderly person in your church, neighborhood, or through your local Aging agency. (Note: to find your area's agency, enter your zip code at this link

Invite one or two such persons to your family Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it will take a few calls and arranging, but think of what this will mean to someone who would otherwise sit alone at home at Thanksgiving. It will likely end up being one of your most special Thanksgivings.

Here is the BBC article: