Winter is a difficult time for the older generation. It’s natural to keep tucked up indoors when the weather isn’t the nicest, and often for the elderly, this can mean some severe isolation when they have no one at home to share their comfort with.
It’s sobering reading how easily it can be for someone of retirement age to go days, weeks and possibly even months without really having a proper conversation with anyone, particularly after a life-changing event such as the loss of a partner or family member.
The statistic that truly brings this into perspective is one from Age UK, stating that 3.6 million people over the age of 65 declare that their main form of regular company is the television. With no interaction, conversation or a helping hand through difficult times – chronic loneliness can be as detrimental to the health of an elderly person as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
— Jo Cox Foundation (@JoCoxFoundation) January 31, 2017
The Jo Cox Foundation (named in tribute to the much beloved MP who was tragically killed last year) is launching the ‘Happy To Chat’ initiative, encouraging everyone to take that extra step in connecting with someone who may be suffering from loneliness. Be that a relative, an elderly neighbour next door, or someone on the train or the bus, Happy To Chat is all about taking it upon yourself to tackle the issue head on. Which we at Silver do every single month, and encourage our volunteers to do every day.
— Jo Cox Loneliness (@JoCoxLoneliness) January 31, 2017
Throughout her life, Jo was a fervent campaigner against the effects of loneliness, while being MP for Batley and Spen she was involved with a number of initiatives in aid of Age UK, The Alzheimer’s Society and The British Red Cross to tackle the issue.
Her famous quote which is now key to the values of the foundation and what we constantly endeavour to encourage at Silver; “Loneliness doesn’t discriminate…it is something many of us could easily help with. Looking in on a neighbour, visiting an elderly relative or making that call or visit we’ve been promising to a friend we haven’t seen in a long time.”
If you’d like to learn more about Painting Our World In Silver and what we do, click here.