Page added on November 14, 2012
As the festive season approaches, we start to think about visiting and getting in touch with family and friends.
It can also be a lonely time for many people including those living within care settings, such as residential or nursing homes, sheltered accommodation or in their own home, including people living with dementia and memory loss.
A 2010 Residents and Relatives Association (R&RA) report showed that “as many as 40,000 people in care settings receive no visits, letters or phone calls”
With families often living long distances from loved ones, it is not always easy to ‘pop in’ to visit, especially when juggling other family commitments that the festive season brings.
At Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A) we work with our network of volunteers to enrich and complement care settings through social interaction and informal learning activities.
This means that residents, including those who might be bed bound and miss out on social activities, regularly meet new faces from the local community and enjoy making new friends with people from different generations and backgrounds.
‘A vibrant occasion of laughter and activities’
Our volunteer Learning Mentors spend one–to–one time with residents exploring their interests and hobbies in their own time and at their own pace.
Teaching residents to use a computer to keep in touch with their family and friends is just one of the many activities we offer. Imagine the satisfaction and joy of being able to keep in touch with loved ones living elsewhere. Better still – with the use of Skype – being able to see each other whilst sitting at the computer!
Christmas is also a time for reflection. We have worked with a large number of older people to find creative ways of capturing their thoughts, ideas and memories. We have made desert island discs, life story DVDs and written memoirs with people that we have then printed. What wonderful ways to share special times with family and friends!
L4A offers relatives peace of mind knowing that their loved one has a regular visitor each week outside of the normal care routine, whose purpose is not related to the care of that person but to their well being, their identity, their
‘It brings me such joy and peace of mind knowing that my mother has a regular visitor each week’
(relative of resident at a local care home)
Our volunteers engage residents with a wide range of activities including: music, art and crafts, languages, poetry, history, geography, reminiscence and computing. We are always looking for more people to get involved in creating a life changing difference for individual older people. Please get in touch if you can help.
PHONE: 0116 242 4002