Guest blog post by Victoria Silver, a fellow Hub Launchpad Scholar
Do you ever feel guilty about how much time you spend with your parents? If so, the See your folks website will probably make you feel even worse! The website uses data from the World Health Organisation to predict how many times you are likely to see your parents before they die.
While this website can be shocking / upsetting at first, it might actually be a really good way of encouraging people to consider how they use their time and what their priorities are.
I don’t think people should feel guilty about how much time they spend with their parents. For various reasons it is not always possible for people to live close to their parents or to see them on a regular basis. It’s important for older people to have a large network of people they can have a nice time with and who they can ask for help.
If everyone helped others and got involved with their local areas we wouldn’t have to worry about how our parents will manage without us living close by. I am hoping A Friend Indeed, the organisation I am working to set up, will help people connect to others in their communities. Everyone has a skill that can help someone else, from gardening to translating documents into English, running errands to doing DIY, cooking and baking to IT support. By helping someone in your community, and receiving support in return, we hope a long-lasting friendship will develop. If you are interested in getting involved please get in touch or like our Facebook page!
800,000 people are lonely in the UK. Contrary to stereotypes, loneliness is not restricted just to older people. A BBC survey found 48% of adults feel varying degrees of loneliness. People can feel lonely because of bereavement, illness, redundancy, and also after moving house or starting school.
- People do not always recognise loneliness
- Don’t judge people based on their age – not all older people need others to look after them!
Not one older person I have spoken to through my work has described themselves as ‘lonely’. It is not a term people use to describe themselves, probably because it has a stigma attached to it. This can make it difficult for organisations to know who is in need of their help.
This week the Joseph Rowntree Foundation launched a free resource pack to help people consider what causes loneliness and reduce it, which is a positive development in stopping people from being lonely across the country.