What is Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria?
Loneliness is a growing problem amongst older people, and in care homes it can be a particularly difficult issue to resolve. Figures from Age UK show that 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with friends or family for a month, and 60 percent of people in care homes get no visitors.
With changing family and community structures and an ageing population, increasing numbers of people, especially older adults, are becoming socially isolated or lonely. Chronic social isolation can reduce life expectancy by an equivalent amount to smoking, with chronic loneliness increasingly recognised as having far reaching consequences for the health and wellbeing of both individuals and wider communities, studies have even shown that those who report a high degree of loneliness are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
When an older person moves from familiar surroundings into a care home, it can be an emotional upheaval and for many will be the final great change in their life and circumstances.
A new approach by a care home in South Derbyshire has seen members of the public sending postcards from their holiday resort to residents of care homes. The residents have something exciting to receive in the post, reminding them of previous holidays and postcards they’ve sent and received, sparking conversation and feelings of nostalgia.
This initiative is now being implemented in Lancashire and local people are encouraged to get involved. All you need to do is write a postcard from your holiday and choose a care home to write to.
A list of care homes where postcards can be sent to can be found here
To find out further information please contact Lancashire County Council email@example.com