“The worst part of getting older is the loneliness..”
A frequent conversation had by OPAL advisers is about social isolation and the need for company which has become a prevalent topic for our older generation of callers in the ageing population of East Dunbartonshire.
The OPAL line began life as a service specifically for people over the age of 65 and was designed to act as a preventative approach to stop issues from becoming larger problems further down the line. The service is now opened to all adult residents (16+) of East Dunbartonshire and we often speak with people of all ages who feel excluded from a local community that they would like to become part of again.
The real difficulty in this situation is reaching these individuals before OPAL becomes the final stop before the problem develops. Many people are unaware of OPAL or unaware that the service is there to provide information and is well placed to suggest local activities: something as simple as a lunch or social club has been proven to improve the morale of many people across the area, regardless of their age.
Other options are also available for tackling this issue with official OPAL partner EDVA currently operating a Befriending scheme that recruits volunteers to spend some time with vulnerable adults each week, at their house or out and about in the community. More information here
Please contact OPAL for further information on how we tackle social isolation and for further reading check out combatting the negative attitudes towards ageing.