Caring for the elderly,
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’,” Acts 20:35
Loneliness amongst the elderly is at an all-time high.
A new poll by Age UK found that 10 per cent of over-65s said they often or always found themselves feeling lonely, a rise of three per cent in just one year. Four in 10 respondents to the charity’s survey said the television or their pet was the main form of company they had. Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said loneliness can have a ‘devastating impact’. “Loneliness not only makes life miserable for older people, it is also really bad for their health, making them more vulnerable to illness and disease,” she said.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt called it a source of ‘national shame’. So what should we do?
Last month it was revealed the number of elderly people needing care will outstrip the number of relatives available to provide this help.
Within four years, it is predicted, 800,000 people may be in need of care, including 20,000 with no family to care for them, according to a report by the centre-left think tank the IPPR.
And the cost of paying for professional care is another concern, with costs rising by nearly £1,000 over the last few years for weekly services such as home care and delivered meals.
The situation only seems to be getting worse, with fresh warnings this week about the financial concerns for the elderly, with more and more people failing to save enough money for retirement.
It’s estimated that £400,000 of savings is currently required to live comfortably, but that will rocket to £507,500 in 15 years’ time. People are already counting the pennies in later life, but experts are now warning this is set to worsen. Should the Church act?
The Bible teaches us continually to look after our parents, to protect the vulnerable and to nurse the sick. Are you and your church doing what you can?
The report below focuses on those living in the countryside, but a lot of the issues are faced by older people living across the country. See if you could solve any of these problems for those living in your parish.