"Care for those that care for you"
Anyone that has been reading my recent posts will be aware of the fact that I've been participating within NCS (the National Citizen Service). I'm on the third stage of the programme - Make Your Mark - which enables you to plan and conduct a social action product which will aid the beneficiaries of a certain sector of your local community.
My team is campaigning to raise awareness for those within assisted living - aged over 55 and living within sheltered housing.
More specifically, we will be carrying out an event on behalf of the residents of Parkfield Court; in Seacroft, quite close to home. The set of thirty-two one and two bedroom apartments - managed by Yorkshire Housing - enables older people to live with independence, whilst having an onsite warden on-hand if there was to be an emergency.
Nevertheless, it is still only natural for residents to feel isolated here - especially as mobility reduces with age - and so staff here aim to run as many social events as possible, though this can prove difficult. As well as raising awareness for their cause, we - as a group - aim to carry out an Olympics-themed tea party for the local residents; offering entertainment and refreshments, whilst allowing highly beneficial social cohesion between residents.
It is undoubted that the struggles and social perceptions of the elderly thrive as issues which can no longer be ignored - with over two million Britons aged over 75 known to live alone; at least 10% of whom noted to suffer from intense loneliness. This is especially an issue for those of poor health - noted, within a 2013 study, to typically be 38% more likely to experience loneliness than their healthy counterparts - as it is for those divorced or widowed. Poverty might be seen as an issue for some of the individuals housed within Parkfield Court - with Seacroft being known to be a disadvantaged area of Leeds. It's a problem undeniably growing rapidly in its severity - and, ultimately, I am truly horrified to reflect upon the fact that I'm a member of a society which allowed around 500,000 vulnerable elderly people to spend the 2015 festive period completely solitary.
We go by the statement "Care for those who cared for you", and feel as if this accurately reflects our ethos. We wish to challenge the predicaments; the facts that the elderly are often viewed as helpless and weak - whilst being often made to feel undervalued. How truly cruel it is for us to patronise those that gave us the many of the rights and entitlements that contemporary people typically take for granted.
Fundamentally, our aim is to raise awareness of this degradation of the people who allowed the mere existence of our privileged generation - thus to subsequently put an end to it. Surely it is therefore our duty to support the elderly as best we can in leading a high quality independent lifestyle for as long as possible.