I am passionate about older people retaining their identity as they age. It is something I first became aware of being an issue when I helped an older gentleman whilst we were visiting Somerset this year. He had fallen and hurt his head and hand quite badly. As he was alone, I went with him in the ambulance and ended up staying with him until he was back home again.
As a result of this, I witnessed first hand how many people talk down to older people, ignore them completely and talk about them to those with them, and generally act like that person is no longer able to speak for themselves. It was pretty eye opening, and I said that afternoon to Ed and my mum that I wanted to find a job where I could help make a difference.
As it turns out, I found that very job and recently started at a lovely local charity focused on older people. Another similar nationwide charity, Age UK, have recently started a campaign with Cadburys, to tackle the problem of loneliness amongst older people in Britain.
According to research, 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness and 225,000 often go a week without speaking to anybody. Cadbury are donating the logo on their bars of Dairy Milk to help and, for every limited edition bar sold, they are donating 30p to Age UK. These donations will help support older people through their national advice line and telephone friendship service.
I lost my grandad when I was twelve years old but I am very fortunate to still have my nan living close by, and the children and I enjoy spending as much time as possible with her. She is still incredibly active, has a better social life than I do, and is always on her iPad, honestly she is in inspiration to me, and I am so lucky to have her in my life. It was lovely to take these photos with her, and to share the bar of Dairy Milk before the children got a hold of it!
To help tackle loneliness, you can start a conversation with an older person, call an older relative, check in on an older relative or volunteer with Age UK. Plus remember to buy a limited edition bar of Cadburys and #donateyourwords for Age UK.