Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Helping To End Loneliness With Sunrise Senior Living ♥

If you've been following my blog for awhile now you'll know that loneliness has been a theme on my blog before, having felt very lonely myself since I gave birth to my son. I'm a firm believer that no one should feel lonely - one of the most horrible feelings in the world in my opinion - no matter what their age, so when Sunrise Senior Living asked if I'd be interested in contributing to their campaign to end loneliness amongst elderly people I was delighted to take part.

Ever since I was a child, charities that support and ways to help the elderly have always been close to my heart. I used to visit a local hospital after school and chat to the sick, elderly people in there and ask if they needed anything from the shop, etc. Since that young age I realised that no one should ever be left to feel alone or be forgotten, to me that is the saddest thing in the world. Sunrise Senior Living provide various types of care for the elderly, they also actively encourage community participation in their care homes across the UK - something which every decent person with some time on their hands should participate in really. A visit to a care home can take just half an hour of your time but could mean the absolute world to the residents there. Recent research from the Campaign To End Loneliness has revealed just how detrimental loneliness can be to a persons health and well being. In order to combat this they are looking for people's help to raise awareness and contribute to the campaign in any way that they can.

One older relative of mine has been through an awful lot in the past year and half, having had their world turned upside down quite unexpectedly. I have tried to not only be there for this person as a relative but also as a friend too. They expressed to me a few months back that they appreciated having someone to talk to because everyone needs someone to talk to and to be honest this broke my heart, no one should ever have to thank anyone for being there to listen to them.

Sunrise Senior Living provided me with a game of Scrabble, a pack of Bicycle cards (which Jacek was very happy about!) and £30 to spend on ingredients to make one of their recipes for dinner. I chose to make the Paprika and Red Onion Chicken as it sounded truly delicious and seemed relatively easy to make too but there was so many lovely recipes to choose from that I really was spoilt for choice, you can view their Recipes from the Heart here. I didn't make a dessert, even though they had so many yummy sounding ones, as the person I invited for dinner is a diabetic and I didn't want to tempt them!

The meal was absolutely delicious (most definitely because Jacek took over the reigns on this, I simply prepared the potatoes and veg). The chicken was perfect and I like that we got to try something else for dinner other than our usually plain chicken breasts or breaded chicken, it's nice to have a change. We also had mash and vegetables as these are a favourite meal accompiant of our guests. We'll definitely be having the Sunrise Senior Living paprika and red onion chicken again, it was one of the best meals I've had in ages!

After we were full to the brim we spent the night playing card games like 21, Old Maid and Snap, all of my childhood favourites. We also played Scrabble for the first time ever - yes really (where have we been hiding all this time?!) and considering that our guest only learnt to read and write properly a few years ago they did pretty good! We all had such a great time and it was fantastic to see our guest smiling, having a laugh and feeling included. I think we'll have to make this a regular thing as our guest usually eats dinner alone and that's no fun at all.

It just goes to show that something as small as inviting someone to dinner can really help to change their mood and make them feel involved with family and friends again. I shared the fact that I was hosting this night as part of the campaign to end loneliness on my Instagram last night and the response was great. People even stated that they'd love to do something like this themselves and if they do I'd be so happy. I'd like to sincerely thank Sunrise Senior Living for asking me to be part of this campaign and for reminding me to include my older relatives, friends and neighbours in things a lot more from now on. Lets face it, we all need some laughs and company to keep us happy, healthy and feeling included.

Would you host a dinner or other activity with your elderly relatives or friends? Or would you visit nursing homes, hospitals or neighbours to help in the campaign to end loneliness?


Share:

15 comments

  1. This sounds like a wonderful campaign and I am so sure you made your dinner guest very happy. I would also love to do something like this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is such a sweet idea. something so simple can make such an impact in someones life

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a very lovely campaign and a sweet thing for you to do! I think everyone benefits from spending time with someone that needs a friend.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Back when I was in high school (aka forever ago) I used to volunteer at a nursing home. A fee classmates and I would visit Alzheimer's patents who's families lived to far away to visit. No one should have to feel alone. Visiting them and brightening their days always put a smile on my face <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. My dad will be 70 later this year and has been single for about 20 years. He's still very active and has a few farm animals that he cares for - he's also very into keeping his yard and garden really nice. So he stays busier than many his age but I have to be careful to avoid letting my own day to day life get in thw ay of visiting him regularly because I know he needs someone to talk to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great promotion from them! I know my great grandfather loved when we were able to visit him.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Loneliness can really weaken a person. It helps a lot if they get a moral boost and support from friends, family and people in the community.

    ReplyDelete
  8. When I was in college and most of my university I worked in communities with the elderly and in residential homes and it was amazing how just spending even 15 minutes with the elderly changed their attitude, being lonely is the worst feeling I think

    ReplyDelete
  9. Can't remember the last time I played scrabble. Wow it brings back so many memories for me. I loved game night with my family...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aww this sounds like a very sweet charity. You are right, no one should ever be alone or forgotten. This just makes me sad to read, but happy to know that there are individuals willing to help. This is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great idea - when my motherinlaw was still alive, I remember so many people just sitting there and would get so excited if you just even spoke to them. Seniors are a forgotten generation.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My Mom, 91, still lives by herself at home and actually lives a very active life. The day after Mother's Day she fell and fractured her shoulder which made it impossible for her to go play Bridge and Mahjong at the Senior Center in town. Although we had someone there for 8 hours every day and I was there frequently (and still am for that matter) she was becoming depressed--she wanted her life back! Well thankfully she started physical therapy today and soon she will be back at that senior center playing away!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is such an amazing gesture! Definitely a great time I see :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a funny thing to read this... I met an elderly lady yesterday who was SO nice. And then I heard her telling someone she has no family left. I was contemplating whether or not to send her a dinner invitation! I wish now that I had!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a great idea girl! Not sure when was the last time I played scribble. It's a fun one! PS: that food sounds yummy :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate all your comments and try to reply whenever I can.

Peace & love,
Fiona
xo

© Dolly Dowsie | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig