Sunday is loneliest day of the week for older people
7th October 2015
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Researchers from Bisto and Contact the Elderly have conducted a survey which revealed that nearly a third of people over the age of 70 eat alone every day. The same survey also found that Sunday was the loneliest day of the week for older people, and that just four in ten older people ate a roast dinner with their loved ones at least once a month.
Researchers have also discovered that eating alone can increase feelings of loneliness, and make older people not want to eat at all. Further statistics from the survey showed that a significant 70 per cent of the participants admitted to eating only because it was necessary. Further to this, just one in four said that eating food made them feel happy. However, ten per cent agreed that eating with friends and family gave them more of an appetite.
Helping to make a difference to the older population
These shocking statistics have inspired a new initiative called Spare Chair Sunday. The aim is to encourage people across the country to offer an older person in the community a seat at their dinner table.
By inviting an older person for a roast dinner on a Sunday, individuals such as stairlift users who have difficulty being independent outside of the home, will be given an opportunity to leave the house with support and enjoy the company of others. Those who opt to take part will also gain an uplifting experience, which will make a world of difference to the older community.
The initiative has been supported by TV presenter Rachel Riley. She told the Daily Mirror: "When you think of all the spare chairs there must be around the dinner table every Sunday, even if we fill a small percentage every week, it will really add up to make a huge difference."
Image Credit: James Whatley (flickr.com)