CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Elderly can fear social isolation more than Covid-19

North London Cares are organising activities to keep people busy at home

31 March, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

A CHARITY working to tackle loneliness says many of their elderly members are more afraid of social isolation than the coronavirus.

North London Cares are holding online meet ups, organising activities to do at home and working with the council to deliver food to the elderly during lockdown measures.

Alex Smith from North London Cares said: “We know that loneliness is dangerous. It brings on strokes and heart attacks. Some people we are talking to are more afraid of social isolation than they are of the virus itself.

“There will be some heart-breaking stories of people at their wits end. We are social animals and we need human interaction and it is more and more important to get that.”

Alex Smith from North London Cares

Since the virus outbreak, activity packs are being sent out to the 1,300 older people across Islington and Camden who usually go to the social clubs at North London Cares.

As part of the ‘Alone Together’ activity pack, there is something for older and younger people to do at home every day in April – such as poetry or creating things out of objects.

“We are trying, at a time of physical distancing, to keep people together socially,” said Mr Smith.

North London Cares have now suspended their face-to-face programmes and have turned to ways of keeping in contact online.

“Technology is important more and more but a lot of people don’t have access to it so we are bringing people together in new ways,” said Mr Smith, “We have decided to do everything we can to help not just older people but younger people to feel connection with their community and have everything they need.”

North London Cares have launched a Covid-19 emergency appeal. To donate go to https://northlondoncares.org.uk/donate

North London Cares usually do outreach work through door knocking and referrals from chemists and supermarkets but are now inviting more people to reach out.

For more information call 020 7118 3838

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