Two care homes in Norfolk have launched new services to encourage older members of the community to join their staff and residents for activities, entertainment and meals.
Olive House in Newton Flotman and Bilney Hall near Dereham are offering day care services and ‘friendship lunches’ and are encouraging anyone to attend.
The homes, which are part of the Healthcare Homes Group, provide residential services, including specialist dementia care and are looking to widen the reach of their care expertise to help even more people.
Recent statistics show that almost three-quarters of older people in the UK are lonely and more than half of those have never spoken to anyone about how they feel. The day care services give individuals access to the communal areas at the homes throughout the day, with food and drink also provided, and friendship lunches offer a free opportunity to come and enjoy lunch at the homes, socialising with residents and taking part in the day’s activities.
Full assessments can be provided before attending the home and individuals who require medication can be supported in receiving this throughout the day.
Lisa Brown, regional manager (Norfolk) for Healthcare Homes, said: “Loneliness is often seen as a taboo subject and something that those who are feeling lonely are ashamed to talk about.
“It’s really important that we encourage people to talk about this, but also, to find ways to offer opportunities for social interaction and friendship within our communities. Our homes are hives of activity, and we hope that our new initiatives will be of real interest to people in the local area who would like to come and make some new friends, enjoy our activities and find out more about what we do.”