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Not only can loneliness and social isolation lead to mental health problems like depression, stress, and a lack of self-esteem, it can also be more harmful than obesity, and just as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

At Live at Home, we want to enable older people to stay living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, with the best possible quality of life.

Through befriending, lunch clubs, assisted shopping, activity sessions, outings, escorts to appointments and much more, our Live at Home schemes across the UK help to tackle loneliness and isolation in people over 65 – helping them to lead fulfilled lives and remain as active members in their local communities.

Live at Home schemes provide a wide range of activities, including:

Befriending 

One of the most popular services within Live at Home, befriending is exactly what it sounds like – getting people together to make friends.

Many older people living in their own homes can become isolated and lonely, but with a regular weekly visit – perhaps to read the paper to a visually impaired person, or to play cards or accompany a member with their grocery shop - Live at Home can help stop this from happening.

Our trained volunteer befrienders are matched with scheme members based on their interests and personalities by their local scheme manager. Some schemes also offer a telephone befriending service.

Lunch and Social Clubs 

A chance to get out of the house, have a hot, balanced meal – and not have to do the washing up!

We organise regular lunch clubs to give our members the opportunity to leave the house, meet old friends and make new ones in a warm, friendly setting over nice hot meal.

The meals are designed to be healthy, balanced and nutritious and catered to members’ specific needs. The service also provides transport to members who would not normally be able to travel independently so that they can join the group too.

 

Social Activities and Groups 

It’s not just lunch and breakfast – many Live at Home schemes hold clubs for crafts, games, activities, exercise and making friends.

Often based around coffee mornings, these clubs are a chance for members to get together, have some fun and company and enjoy an activity.

Promoting physical wellbeing, many Live at Home Schemes offer varied and interesting exercise classes to encourage members to keep active and mobile. All classes are designed to be as inclusive as possible so that members of all physical abilities are able to take part.

Telephone Checks 

Many schemes arrange daily telephone calls to check on a person to make sure he or she is alright and offer reassurance. If there is no answer or there is a cause for concern, the volunteer caller can inform the next of kin or relevant service.

Some schemes also provide telephone prompts to members as reminders for appointments or other key dates.

Shopping 

Sometimes it’s not easy or even possible for people just to pop out for their essentials.

There are three ways a scheme might provide an assisted shopping service: it may be an escorted one-to-one trip with a volunteer, a volunteer doing the shopping for someone, or a group trip, possibly in a minibus or community transport. There might also be additional services for Christmas shopping!

Transport 

A key part of independence is being able to get out and about. Live at Home schemes frequently use volunteer drivers, minibuses and community transport to enable members to get to activities or medical appointments (eligibility criteria and charges apply).

Life Skills 

It’s a constantly changing world. Many schemes offer classes in various life skills such as IT and how to get the most out of the internet.

Newsletters and Signposting 

If older people find themselves in a situation where they need some outside support (perhaps after a medical diagnosis or personal crisis), Live at Home will signpost members to any local services and agencies that can help.

Information and advice services are confidential and designed to enable people to make an informed decision about the options available to them. It may be carried out through one-to-one befriending, attendance at activities, telephone or visits to the service.

In addition, the local newsletter will keep them informed of the scheme’s latest news, upcoming events and activities, welfare initiatives and other community services that may be of interest.

Dementia Friendly Services 

Many schemes are dementia friendly and provide specific services to meet our members’ needs.

Find an MHA Live at Home Scheme near you using our online Service Finder.

To learn more about volunteering with your local Live at Home Scheme, please visit the volunteering section.

 

Fundraising for Live at Home

Fundraising and charitable donations are vital to help us continue delivering our vital, life-changing Live at Home schemes to over 10,000 older people living in isolation across the UK.

You can fundraise at home, in your community, at work, or with family and friends by taking part in one of our challenging activities or organising your very own event. Whatever you choose, our fundraising team will be happy to support you!

To find out more, head over to our Best For Ages fundraising website or contact our Fundraising Team by calling 01332 221641 or emailing FundraisingEnquiries@mha.org.uk

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