Isolated older people

8th June 2020

We have to date awarded £79,183 to support isolated older people from our Coronavirus Response Funding.

Compared with the national average (12.3% of the population being aged 65 or over), Surrey has some of the highest proportions of older people living among its population in the country. The figure is as high as 37.2% (i.e. 3 times the national average) in one part of Waverley.

Looking at those aged 90 and over, almost all neighbourhoods across the county lie above the national average.

In other words, we have many more people in this age group in Surrey than elsewhere.

We also have some of the highest levels in the country of lone-person households aged 65+. Waverley has the highest number of lone-person households over 65, with over 7,000 households, closely followed by Elmbridge (6,743) and Reigate & Banstead (6,723).

Loneliness and isolation is a key issue.

Research shows that loneliness is associated with poorer physical and mental health and lower wellbeing amongst older people.[1]

How our grants are helping:

Surrey Heath Age Concern recently told us that their clients “feel scared, worried they are going to run out of food, lonely and some really depressed.” The charity is phoning elderly clients “every couple of days to make sure they are okay, have enough food /drink and if there is anything they need”. The charity is finding that these regular chats make even the most vulnerable people feel cared for and happier.
“We are busier than ever and need to know we are financially stable; this grant will help taking some of the pressures off”.

Haslewey Community Centre is providing daily meals for 85 elderly people who would otherwise be completely isolated. The area is semi-rural and so careful attention is required to deliver meals at the correct temperature. Staff are producing food, incorporating dietary requirements/allergies, and keeping vulnerable older people fed in a safe, hygienic way.

Below are the grants we have awarded locally to support isolated older people.

CharityProject DescriptionAmount Awarded
Total£79,183
Action for Carers (Surrey)Funding to cover the cost of IT equipment to allow staff to work from home, to continue to support carers across Surrey during the Covid-19 outbreak£3,700
Age Concern Epsom and EwellFunding toward equipment for home work, recruiting more volunteers and the cost of extending the opening hours of a service, which helps the elderly in Epsom and Ewell, during the COVID-19 pandemic.£5,000
Age Concern Epsom and Ewell
Contribution to additional staffing costs of extended opening hours for the advice and information helpline supporting older people during the COVID-19 pandemic
£5,500
Age Concern Merstham, Redhill & ReigateA contribution to running costs for a charity supporting isolated older people in Reigate and Banstead during the Coronavirus pandemic£5,000
Age Concern Mole ValleyRunning costs for a Telephone Befriending Service for older people in Mole Valley who are isolating during the Covid-19 outbreak
£5,000
Byfleet Community Action (Byfleet Care)Funding toward the salary cost of a Volunteer Coordinator, for an organisation, based in Byfleet, that offers transport to medical appointments and a delivery service of shopping for isolated elderly people, during the Covid-19 pandemic
£2,000
Fairlands, Liddington Hall, and Gravetts Lane Community AssociationFunding to produce information and activity packs to isolated older people during the Coronavirus pandemic£1,500
Farncombe Day Centre LtdEquipment costs for a 'Meals on Wheels' service catering for sheltered older people during the Coronavirus pandemic£1,888
Haslewey (Haslemere & District Community Centre)Costs of delivering meals to isolated older people in Haslemere£5,000
Intergenerational Music Making, CICIG project to bring connection and joy to isolated older people during the Covid-19 crisis£1,500
MHA Reigate & Redhill Live at Home SchemeA contribution to the costs of continuing to support older people in Reigate ad Redhill during the Coronavirus pandemic£4,738
Painshill Park Trust Limited.
Funding to provide a safe space for older isolated people, and older volunteers to return to duties following the COVID-19 lockdown
£4,988
Painting our World in Silver
Funding toward the purchasing of art and craft packages, for an organisation, based in Weybridge, that help the isolated and elderly, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
£4,000
Phyllis Tuckwell HospiceCore costs to increase capacity and support of vulnerable and critical care people during the Coronavirus pandemic£5,000
Re-engageFunding towards the essential running costs of an organisation, that offers a befriending service to people aged 75 or older, during the Covid-19 pandemic
£5,000
Surrey Heath Age ConcernCore costs for a charity tackling the impact of isolation of older people during the Coronavirus pandemic£4,875
Surrey Minority Ethnic ForumFunding toward the salary cost of an employee, to offer a befriending service, for an organisation, based in Woking, that brings together people from the same nationality that do not speak English, during the Covid-19 pandemic£4,994
Westway Community and Well Being CentreFunding toward the expenses incurred by a charity, based in Tandridge, which allowed them to run an outreach hub, during the COVID-19 pandemic£5,000
Woking Age ConcernCore costs for a charity supporting isolated older people in Woking during the Coronavirus pandemic£5,000

Source

[1] “Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems” (https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/loneliness/) with depression and physical activity cited as two of the key risk factors for the development of Alzheimer’s (Annual Public Health Report ‘The Health & Wellbeing of Older People in Surrey’ 2018).

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