Project launched to combat elderly isolation
23rd September 2014
A project launched in the Isle of Wight is set to combat isolation in older people on the island. The “No Man (or Woman) is an Island" project, being led by Age UK Isle of Wight, is hoped to help older people on the island remain independent in their own homes, which mobility aids can further assist with alongside such community-led schemes.
A grand total of £5,725, 414, raised through the Big Lottery Fund, is going towards the project that will help in the aim to create an age-friendly island. It is thought that the money will help improve the lives of thousands of older people who face social isolation, either through the lack of mobility aids such as outdoor stair lifts and such aids in public spaces, ill health, poverty and even the attitude of society towards the older generation.
‘Loss of friends and family, mobility or income’
Unfortunately, loneliness and social isolation are very real problems among the older generation, particularly in such an isolated environment as the Isle of Wight where ‘the loss of friends and family, mobility or income’ contributes heavily. The money that has been awarded as a part of this scheme is hoped to overcome these issues, with a variety of activities being set up as a move towards a solution. Among these include SingAbout, which is a type of social music therapy that aims to improve memory, mood, wellbeing, mobility and confidence.
The Big Lottery Fund England Chair, Nat Sloane, recognises that social isolation in later life contributes to all sorts of further ailments, stating in this article that “Social isolation is bad for health with links to chronic conditions and increased mortality.”
Furthermore, Dorothy Moir, Chair of the Isle of Wight Ageing Better partnership, went on to say “No elderly person wishes to be defined by age or disability. This National Lottery-funded Island project will help empower our older people to age well.”
With the Isle of Wight being home to some of the most isolated older people in the country, with over 16 per cent of older residents living alone, there is an increased focus on ensuring that they have the aids and support in place to help them live independently and happily by installing walk in showers and such aids alongside community-based projects to help improve both mobility and wellbeing.
Image Credit: Andy Roberts (flickr.com)
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