“Communities are in danger and loneliness is on the rise! “
This is one statement that I heard this morning in a really informative meeting run by the Older Person’s Parliament in our local town.
Lots of interesting items were discussed and it never ceases to amaze me how knowledgeable and passionate this group of mature people are. But, are they right…are communities in danger of becoming extinct and if so, what can be done about it?
First, why are older people feeling lonely when in years gone by they were revered and respected within their community where as today they are often seen as of no further use to society?
I think the answer to this is twofold. Firstly, the loss of the extended family. Back as early as the 1960s families in towns often consisted of Mum, Dad, children and Grandparents all living in the same house. This suited everybody as, if Mums and Dads needed to work, Nan and Granddad were always there to help with childcare.
As well as this Nan was always there to help with the cooking and cleaning while Granddad helped with the DIY and kept children amused with his story telling.
Another aspect which has changed is the way we are housed. At one time lots of families lived close to each other, often in back to back terraced houses where they would pop into each other’s homes to share the latest local news or meet in the corner shop for an impromptu get together. Sadly the councils deemed most of these homes unhealthy and demolished them to be replaced by tower blocks and out of town housing estates.
What they didn’t realise is that along with the demolition of housing they started the demolition of communities.
At Apollo Care we truly believe that community is needed and important! All too often, we see the effects on our clients when they have become isolated and lonely; this can have a physical and mental affect on a person. With this in mind, we believe that everyone has the ability in some way or other to enhance and give back to their community and people around them.
As a company we give back to our communities in many different ways. For instance, we are members of the Older Person’s Parliament; we have donated a lifelike doll to the Lonsdale Centre (a day centre for dementia sufferers), we have raised funds for Thompson’s Mission in Birkenhead and sent toys into a local radio station at Christmas. We have also sponsored a Liverpool Ladies Futsal team and a children’s local football team. In fact, our Managing Director has just accompanied the team to Sweden for a football tournament!
Why do we do this?
Our staff and clients live in the communities around us. We want communities to grow and people to help each other. We want to let people have the opportunity to socialise and interact with each other. We want loneliness to be eradicated! Every action helps, no matter how small. Please help us to do this.