Friends

12 December 2013

A NEW IDEA

Here in the UK, the latest idea to help aged people living alone is the introduction of a new free phone line. It was designed so that elderly and lonely people can ring for help or simply to talk to someone. It is called THE SILVER LINE and has this unique easy-to-remember number 0800 4 70 80 90. I trust those in their hundredth year won’t mind not being included in that number.

Isn’t it sad that so many old people live alone, their partners having passed on, families living miles away, and neighbours who don’t want to know.  When did we become a non-caring nation, keeping to ourselves rather than get involved with the folk next door. Gone are the days when neighbours would pop in for a chat or even to borrow a packet of tea. Gone are the days when we care about others. Yes, I know I’m exaggerating but we can’t escape the fact that many people just don’t look out for their neighbours otherwise there would be no need to install a special phone line.

It is often said that we only meet our neighbours when out walking the dogs or taking kids to school but even those duties now involve getting into a car and driving to our destination. It’s not often we see people outside their own front doors. And the awful thing is people prefer it that way. They don’t want folk popping in at inconvenient times. Little wonder there’s such a surge in retirement and care homes. 

Here are a couple of videos if you want to see more about The Silver Line. 



19 comments:

Carol In Cairns said...

Valerie, it is the same here in Australia ~ extended family live farther away! elderly relatives do not go to live with their families. Every now and again the media will get wind of a story where an elderly person died alone in their home and their body found 6 months later. Western societies need more than an 0800 number I think.

Happy Christmas :)

Valerie said...

Carol, you are right, we do need more than a phone line. We need to get back to the real old family values and responsibilities.

Brian Miller said...

its a shame that there is no family to care for them (or no fam that wants to care for them) or that we even need as such but i guess i am glad they have it...

Banker Chick said...

I think it is a good idea, as I don't think the situation will change any time soon. We go for days sometimes, not seeing any one except the mail person, especially during the winter. We have the option to get out and about.
To your question, yes I liked the Yorkshire pudding, and even have tried making it myself.

Montanagirl said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, Valerie. We find ourselves guilty of some of that. We have moved back to Montana after some 45 years being gone. It's been rather hard to find a place to fit in. So we kinda just hang out together a lot.

Ron said...

Valerie, I couldn't watch the videos (not available in this country), however, I did check out the website link on The Silver Line and enjoyed reading about it. I think it's a really wonderful service they're providing.

And you're right, it is sad that so many elderly people live alone and that their families live miles away, especially at time when they might need assistance in some way.

This is why I love the Japanese culture. Their elderly come first and are a high priority in care. To the Japanese, a person becomes more valuable as the age. More respected.

Thank you for sharing this post, dear lady. It needed to be said.

X

Valerie said...

Brian, sadly it's the sentence in brackets that applies these days.

Mona, I agree, it's okay when we have our partners and are still reasonably mobile, but ... well, quite honestly I dread to think too much about the future.

BC, you are right, the situation won't change. It's too late to educate our young and, yes, I agree they have their own lives to lead. One day realisation will set in.

Valerie said...

Good afternoon, Ron. I suppose being the age I am I think more about how others cope. One day, either Joe or me will be alone and then one of us will have more food for thought!!! It is interesting to learn about the Japanese culture. They could teach us a thing or two, in more ways than one.

Mersad said...

I agree, that it's the same way here. I know because of my own grandmother. She doesn't live in a home, she has her own apartment, and we visit her every weekend. But after my grandfather died it's just not the same anymore. Having people around you and in your life is so important. We certainly haven't been put on this world to walk alone.

Susan Kane said...

The small town help-each-other attitude seems to have shrunk. Neighbors need to become more than strangers, starting with me.

HermanTurnip said...

That's a fantastic idea! And I agree that most neighbors don't bother to get to know each other. It's funny, but around my neighborhood the Home Owner's Association regularly holds neighborhood parties, so the wife and I get to know our neighbors well enough to share waves from our cars are we pass in the street. And if there's ever a natural emergency I feel confident that we could pull together as a neighborhood to pool resources and help each other.

Mr. Shife said...

Hi Val. I think it's a great idea for those who are lonely or without family. I am an introvert so I actually crave time by myself to help me recharge and handle things. Hope all is well with you and Joe. Take care.

Valerie said...

Hi Matt, I'm a bit of an introvert too, however things change slightly with age when an inability to do the same things increases.

Herman, that's great. Community spirit is vital for the old folk.

Susan, I agree with you.

Geraldine said...

I think it's wonderful when older folks can stay independent and living in their own homes but it is true, isolation can become a problem too. My dear grandma lived in her own home well into her 80's but gradually stopped bothering to cook much for herself when no one was visiting and that's when the problems started. :<( A phone line is a start though but it's only a start.

Along These Lines ... said...

That's a good idea. Something so simple, why wasn't it done years age?

Valerie said...

Hi Nick, it takes a long time for folk to cotton on. Equally, I guess things have never been as serious before.

Jenny Woolf said...

Esther Rantzen has done so much good but people can still be rather sniffy about her, for some reason. I don't know why. I think that more affluence is the reason that people feel they don't need each other any more.

Mel said...

I sent on the information for himself--we're one of those that live HERE while the mum lives THERE. And while the kiddos check on her weekly, it's undoubtedly a very lonely time for her. It was difficult to decide to move to this country, and understandable when she decided not to. It's her home--and it's hard for the son as it is for the mum. Bit different circumstances--same results.
And England doesn't have the market on lonely elderly. We have our share. I blame the 'google society' in part. And I'm blessed to live in a smalltown where knowing your neighbor and noting when you've not seem them OR the car move in 24 hours is a norm.
I will say that we don't 'visit' with the neighbors like they did once upon a time. No going to the others' house to play cards or simply have coffee and visit.
Slowly but surely, we're isolating ourselves, huh?

Valerie said...

Mel, you are right, we are isolating ourselves. I can't remember the last time we popped in to neighbours' houses for coffee, or they ours. I hope your M-in-L is okay.