Five ways you can help in your local community

Porsha Nunes-Brown, Network and Communications Officer

Today is the International Day of Older Persons, a day aimed at drawing attention to and challenging negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing.

At CSAN, we’re committed to improving the lives of older people living in the UK. As a society, we need to acknowledge how members of the older population significantly contribute to our society. There are a number of ways you can help older people in your local communities:

  1. Talking – According to Age UK, half of all older people consider the television their main form of company. Loneliness is a major issue for older people. Simply, starting a conversation with an elderly person in your local area, asking how their day is going is valuable.
  2. Volunteering – There are a number of voluntary opportunities available at organisations that work with older people ranging from telephone befriending to visiting older people who have been recently discharged from the hospital. Providing care and support to older people is a key priority for some of our members including Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds), Caritas Salford, Irish Chaplaincy, Nugent and SVP. Visit www.do-it.org.uk to find voluntary opportunities in your local area.
  3. Exercise – The importance of physical activity and exercise for older people should not be understated, regular exercise can improve physical and mental health. Offering to accompany an older family member and/or local community member to an exercise class or simply for a casual walk would be a great way to stay active and to meet new people.
  4. Cooking –  Some older people find it hard to cook for themselves, as a result cooking a meal for an older person in your local community may be greatly appreciated. There is an amazing project called The Casserole Club, designed to connect people who like to cook with their older neighbours who aren’t always able to cook for themselves.
  5. Learn more– Make it a priority to learn more about challenges facing older in the UK and in your local community. There are several organisations that work in this area including Age UK, Centre for Ageing Better and Contact the Elderly.

Those are just a few ideas of how you can better support older people living in your local area. We all need to work together to ensure older people living in the UK are living happy and fulfilled lives.

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Find out more about our Ageing in an Inclusive Society seminar here

The views expressed in this blog are not CSAN policy.