Car­ing for the el­derly,

The Church of England - - Front Page - By Amaris Cole

“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.

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