Most of us are too busy to help old people we may not know. But a few minutes each week can open the door to a lifetime of experience.
Mark Twain said “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
Jane's Team has a lot of experience in dealing with lonely people in their work with Victims but over the years they began to recognise that there are many old people who are lonely also. Realising that talking to older people Victims gains strength It was decided to make this part of our 21st Century Family Survival Guide.
This untapped resource has over their lifetime learned so much, they have been involved with a family, may have married with children and sorted out all of the day to day dramas the families bring so often. Then one by one their family moves away and become fond memories; others die and leave a gaping hole that's hard to fill. Those members of their family that marry and set up their own house find work and family matters take up so much time that it is difficult to see their parent or parents.
Recently one of our team visited an old person who kept looking at his watch which is always a good sign to leave. He was asked if he was expecting a visitor to which he replied "Not really. My son usually telephones me once a week during his morning tea break but he hasn't called me this week and I'm quite worried if he is not sick or something has happened to him" The rest of the discussion led to research resulting in some basic information:
- Not meeting people and living alone creates anxiety and stress
- Social Services in many countries interview old people when admitted to hospital to ascertain how they're coping at home. Loneliness is easily recognised by them and home based nursing services and other matters are introduced. Doctors also reported to us that many patients make regular visit to them with no recognisable illnesses and simply want to have a chat. Interestingly such patients feel so pleased when the Doctor suggest that might try a home remedy and to come back in a month's time for a check up. Doctors also noted that these types new patients improve visibly in what might be best described as a placebo affect.
- Some local areas of government provide regular bus trips. Old people are collected from their home and for a small fee, of about $10, are taken on a sight seeing trip including lunch and refreshments before returning them home. The most important factor being the chance to meet people
- Living with a partner enables better outcomes
- Having a pet is of enormous benefit
- The most wanted need is to have a chat with another person
- To be asked to help with a project invigorates and stimulates active participation
DO YOU HAVE A FEW MINUTES?
One of Jane's Team celebrated a 30,000 days milestone today and we have learned so much. Thanks for everything Jane 1934
Never too old to learn somethingLoneliness can affect your health