Age UK Exeter launches its ‘No One Should Have No one’ appeal today. The appeal is highlighting the devastating impact loneliness and isolation can have on local older people’s health and wellbeing. Research by the Campaign to End Loneliness estimates around 2,000 older people in Exeter experience chronic loneliness every day. Evidence shows this can have the same effect on mortality as well-known risk factors such as obesity and smoking. It can increase the risk of high blood pressure, the onset of disability and lead to depression and anxiety and increased cognitive decline.
Age UK Exeter is focussing its annual appeal on addressing this hidden condition that blights the lives of thousands of older people in the city. The charity already provides support and opportunities to over 1,200 older people in the city every week and receives hundreds of calls a week, many concerning local older people living alone, isolated due to ill health, poor mobility and far flung families.
Martyn Rogers, Age UK Exeter’s Director, said “We know the difference our services make to people’s lives. Take Dorothy for example, she’s 90 years old and a widow with no children. She has no other family and her mobility is poor, making it hard for her to get out without help. She contacted us and after a visit from one of our staff we were able to match her with a voluntary visitor who lived nearby. Pat now visits Dorothy every week and phones her for a chat twice a week to see how she is. They also often go out for lunch together. Dorothy recently contacted us to say ‘Pat is just what I wanted. She’s so easy to talk to, she brightens my day. I can’t thank you enough’. What we do isn’t rocket science. It’s about having staff and volunteers who are committed to making a difference for older people in the city. We’re asking people in Exeter to support our appeal by giving a donation towards our work, or giving their time as a volunteer, so that we can reach more people like Dorothy whose lives we can change for the better. In Exeter, no one should have no one, we believe everyone should have someone.”
All the money raised by Age UK Exeter’s annual appeal will be used in Exeter for the benefit of local older people. If you would like to support the appeal you can text SEND16 £10 (or whatever you can afford) to 70070, visit their website: www.ageukexeter.org.uk, send a cheque to Age UK Exeter, 138 Cowick Street, EX4 1HS or give them a call on 01392 202092.