Leeds Jewish Welfare Board commemorated UK Older People’s Day by celebrating the achievements and contributions that older people make to society and the economy. The event is held every October to coincide with UN International Day of Older Persons, with a challenge to change negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.
LJWB marked the day with a programme of events that promoted cutting down on isolation and loneliness, bringing together older people, that culminated in a lively tea dance with entertainment from the swinging Sixties.
This year LJWB has focussed on social isolation, one of the biggest problems facing all age groups existing in local and broader communities, often not just related to older people but to those over 50 and above.
Social isolation exists right across the board with national statistics showing in the next two decades the number of people aged over 80 expected to treble, whereas the number of people over 90 is expected to double. In both sectors authorities forecast a huge increase in people prone to loneliness.
LJWB is able to offer a bespoke service for whatever is needed in terms of care and support, including a whole range of well-being activities staged at the community centre, which are more in demand than ever.
Carol Hooks was on hand to give information and advice on help-lines, Arnie and Essie and the Listening Line, providing a vital provision to many service users and a crucial link during those hours when the pain of isolation and loneliness is most acute.
The helpline is manned every weekday (8am-8pm) — contact 0113 218 5875
Words by John Fisher