Loneliness is a serious issue for the elderly
Loneliness and isolation is a huge problem for elderly people, with the over 75s being most at risk. Recent figures show that over 2 million people aged 75 or over in England live alone and can go longer than a month without speaking to anyone. In this country 1.2 million people were counted as chronically lonely. Fran and Vivienne recently experienced this on a personal level. Fran’s Auntie Gill recently had a fall. Following this Gill lost her confidence in getting out and about. Subsequently she remained in her house watching the television, growing more and more isolated and withdrawn. This resulted in deep depression, her health started to deteriorate significantly. Services were offered to her, only they were very short welfare visits.  Gill’s family recognised that they needed to find a solution for her to maintain her independence and live life to the full. There was nothing available to fill this gap. Vivienne’s mother, Di, was becoming isolated due to caring for her husband. Di wanted to get out and have some time doing what she loves whist her husband was being cared for. Over the 54 years of marriage Vivienne’s mum and dad did everything together. Subsequently her mum lost her confidence for going to the theatre as she didn’t have anyone to go with. What Di needed was a trusted companion, not carer, not a taxi driver but someone who would inspire and appreciate similar things. Again, there was nothing out there to fill this gap. From this Fran and Vivienne set up Just Company. A new service to fill this gap, providing companionship to elderly people who wish to remain independent but have lost confidence in achieving it. Just Company matches companions to clients, they spend time getting to know each other and plan a calendar of events, experiences and even travel. Company Director Vivienne says: This is a real modern day problem, so many people living so much longer. Families are working longer hours and living further apart. Often families feel guilty about not having time or opportunity to take elderly loved ones out. I know from personal experience this has had a real impact on me. I feel sad as we live too far away and I am unable to visit regularly. Fran, also Company Director says: I know Auntie Gill needs to get out, go to the beach, see an exhibition, watch a show, she needs to get out of the house. Just Company offers real experiences with Gill, like going to Chelsea flower show, a day trip to her favourite beach to watch the waves and breathe the sea air. Gill loves pottery, she can now go to an exhibition with a companion. The companion does all the logistics, keeps her company and I know she is safe and happy. For me to know that Gill is meeting and spending time with someone she trusts and enjoys being with, doing the things she loves is so reassuring to me and my family. If you or one of your loved ones is experiencing social isolation then contact us. We can start the ball rolling towards fun, adventure and Just Company.

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