We Care Together is proud to be supporting “World Hello Day” on the 21st of November. World Hello Day is celebrated in over 180 countries around the world. The concept is simple as it encourages us all to greet at least 10 strangers within 24 hours. The aim is to appreciate the importance of personal communication in an increasingly fragmented and digital world. It is also a great reminder of the loneliness many people are currently experiencing, and this is most prevalent among the elderly in our society.
Several recent surveys have highlighted that loneliness amongst the elderly in our society is at an all-time high. Many people have pointed to the periods of lockdown during the Covid pandemic as accelerating this. A recent report in The Times stated nearly 2 million over 75-year-olds are currently living alone in the UK. More worryingly, 1 million of these people admitted they often go over a month without speaking to anyone at all – this can be even worse during the Winter months.
So, what can you do to help?
There are a number of ways with small actions we can all make a huge difference in the life of an elderly person who may be experiencing loneliness. If it is delivered respecting their privacy and dignity, you can really help. We recommend using World Hello Day as a starting point to connect with elderly neighbours or people in the community.
You may want to check in on elderly neighbours, especially in Winter to see if they are ok or need anything from the supermarket. It is also important to be vigilant and notice if they appear to be ill and if you can get them anything or call a GP for them. If they live alone, they may not be able to leave the house to get what they need.
Often it could just be having a simple conversation with an elderly neighbour or popping in for a coffee or cup of tea. Simply having a 10-minute chat with someone can have a huge impact on their mood or state of mind. One of our core human necessities is the need for a real connection, it takes a few minutes of your time but, can really make a big difference in someone’s life.
If you wish to do more, you could even look into Age UK’s befriending service. It will put you in touch with an elderly person reaching out through loneliness. You could simply call them to check in every week or actually visit them in person. You can learn more about this scheme here – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/befriending-services/
We Care Together understands the power and importance of companionship and genuine human connection and this is why on the 21st of November our team will be embracing World Hello Day.