Author: Tim Davies LLB
A guide to charities for older people
Looking to help the elderly community by donating? We have uncovered the best UK charities that help the elderly live the happiest lives.
Raising money for a charity can take years and years of hard work and determination, and when you decide it is time to give the proceeds to a charity who can put it to use, it can be a daunting prospect. When considering your choices, we suggest looking at charities that help the elderly community. Even within this niche, there is a large range of options available from podcasts to keep them company to transport and sports charities that help them stay active and positive. In this article, we take a look at some of the charities that are changing lives with their amazing work.
Playlist For Life
For over 6 years, Playlist for Life has been helping those with dementia re-live some of their favourite memories through the comforting sound of music. Scientific research has shown that listening to music can release personal memories allowing those with dementia to live easier and happier lives.
We spoke to Playlist for Life and asked them why they think music can have such positive effects on those suffering from dementia: “Playlist for Life is a UK music and dementia charity. We promote the use of personally meaningful music because the music that gives you that ‘flashback feeling’ can be a lifeline if you develop dementia. When you listen to music, your brain lights up like a fireworks display. If parts of your brain are damaged, music can still reach those other parts. Personally, meaningful music can bring back feelings, memories and sometimes even abilities thought lost. It can also strengthen relationships, reconnect families and manage some of the symptoms of dementia.
Playlist for Life wants everyone with dementia to have access to the music that has soundtracked their life. We provide information, tools and training to help people with dementia and those caring for them build a playlist and listen to it in the most effective way.”
The Casserole Club was created in 2011 by FutureGov and is uniquely designed to connect neighbourhoods with their elderly residents who aren’t always able to cook themselves. Recruiting willing volunteers who are happy to cook meals from their own kitchen and enjoy them alongside their new found friends. Becoming a cook or suggesting a diner could lead to a new-found sense of wholeness, allowing you to mingle with members of your community whilst sharing the dishes that really do sum up ‘a wholesome, home-cooked, meal’.
Casserole Club commented on their website: “Through this simple act of sharing food, we’ve seen new friendships and connections develop that make us smile every day. But whether our Cooks and Diners have been sharing for years or just a few months, nearly everyone who takes part in Casserole is happier for having done so.”
Since becoming one of the leading practitioners in helping the elderly get involved in meaningful activities, Alive has helped thousands of vulnerable individuals get involved in fun and dynamic activities that encourage communication, creativity and movement.
Proven to have positive impacts on personal identity, interaction and general well-being amongst those who need it the most.
We spoke to the team at Alive and asked them why they think their work is so important:
“Alive is the UK’s leading charity enriching the lives of older people in care and training their carers. Specialising in engaging older people creatively through meaningful activity sessions, training care staff and connecting older people to their local communities to reduce isolation- this year alone they’ll reach over 7,000 older people, improving their day to day lives.
Social isolation and loneliness are two of the biggest issues facing older people in care today, affecting mental health, wellbeing and even life expectancy. Recent evidence shows that four in ten older people living in care homes in England are depressed.
Alive’s award-winning activity sessions and training programmes are building the confidence and skill of staff, improving CQC ratings and enhancing day to day life for older people. The charity’s community engagement projects are tackling the issue of social isolation head on, creating lasting, meaningful relationships between older people and their community and putting mental health and wellbeing at the heart of care.”
Time to Talk Befriending
“Have you ever heard someone say that they don’t want to live anymore because they feel so lonely? Or that they would rather go without food than a visit every fortnight from their befriender? Sadly, at Time to Talk Befriending we hear these comments all the time which is why we are on a mission to tackle this serious issue of loneliness head-on! Thanks to the kindness over 250 volunteers we support 300+ older people in Brighton and Hove, Worthing and neighbouring areas through the provision of intergenerational befriending, events, community outreach, signposting and seasonal campaigns. There is however much more to be done if we are to truly honour, engage and connect with the thousands of older people who are still hidden within our community.” Says CEO Emily Kenward from Time to Talk Befriending.
Battling loneliness across the Brighton and Hove area, Time To Talk employ over 300 befrienders to visit older members of their community to provide a friendly face and a warm smile to brighten the lives of those living by themselves and lonely. Awarded ‘Best Small Charity of the Year’ by their regional newspaper, Time to Talk offer a listening ear for those who need it most.
Silver Line offers a 24/7 helpline service for the elderly and any concerns or questions they may have. Not just offering help and advice regarding any questions the caller may have, they offer a Silver Line Friend service where callers can enjoy a weekly call with a telephone friend, talk about their week and enjoy some much-needed company.
Seeing as calls aren’t suitable for everyone, they offer various other services such as Silver Letters. Designed for the hearing impaired and those who would just prefer a written letter, Silver Letters allows the recipient to exchange messages through writing. As well as Silver Circles which allows speakers with the same interests to engage in a joint phone call and discuss some of their favourite topics.
Silver Line offers the perfect opportunity for those living alone to get involved in like-minded conversations, talk to a friend and engage in conversation about something they love.
“Volunteer befrienders pledge to visit a socially isolated older neighbour near them for one hour per week for a cuppa and a chat. On the way back from work, the shops, dropping the kids at school – whenever is convenient for both parties, a befriender will spend an hour just chatting, listening and supporting someone that otherwise may have no one.” B:Friend mentions on their website.
B:Friend is fuelled by passionate volunteers who give up their own time to keep the elderly population in their community company for an hour a week. Connected based on personal interest and locality to each other, volunteers pop into their friend’s house and enjoy a cup of tea, friendly chat and a giggle or two once a week, ending in life long friendships and a feeling of want and happiness for the elderly community. Recently expanding their business to build a population of social groups in the Doncaster area, group activities can include performing dance routines, making bird boxes and chocolate tasting sessions.
“Our Social Clubs ensure attendees are connected to others through conversation and activity; active through physically engaged sessions; continue to learn through engaging talks, discuss topics of the day and take note of others around them; while giving time, support and attention to others.”
There are thousands of other charities in the UK whose mission are to dedicate their time and resources into helping our elderly population live the healthiest and happiest lives possible. No matter who you choose to donate to, their work is invaluable to the care community.
Do you know someone in care, someone looking to find out more about NHS continuing care, or someone wanting to know a bit more about care home funding? Get in contact today, just call us on 01214 376673 to talk to one of our team.
Author: Tim Davies LLB
Do not delay, contact us today. We specialise in securing funding from day 1 and assisting families with the process from the outset. Don’t wait until a negative decision has been made and it is then necessary to have to appeal the outcome. This can take many months and all the while the patient will be having to pay the cost of their care.
Did you know?
If an individual is approaching the end of their life then a “fast track” Continuing healthcare funding assessment may be appropriate. This enables the individual to receive prompt NHS funding to meet the cost of care at the end of life stage.