Friends of the Elderly, the charity which runs care homes and services for older people throughout England, has launched its 2020 Christmas Appeal in its continuing work putting the care, mental and physical health and wellbeing of older people at the heart of all its activities, especially during this notoriously lonely and cold time of year.
The colder temperatures and spending more time inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic are posing an additional challenge – both mentally and physically – to older people’s health. It is also crucial that those who may be in financial difficulties or experiencing monetary hardship, are not forced go hungry or live in freezing conditions in their own homes.
These reasons are at the core of the charity’s 2020 Christmas Appeal which is focusing on helping those older people who are alone or struggling to cope during the wintery days and nights.
Talking about the Appeal, Friends of the Elderly’s Director of Engagement, Mark Wilson said: “Every day, we receive despondent calls from many older people who are desperate for help, advice and support as they have nowhere else, or nobody else, to turn to. Some need financial support, others need emotional support and some need physical, material assistance.
“The requests we receive are not extravagant, excessive or exaggerated asks, just simple wishes that make an extraordinary, positive difference to an older person’s daily wellbeing. For example, following an emotional call, we were able to replace a condemned cooker for an elderly lady to ensure she can have hot meals. We have also granted an elderly gentleman money towards transport costs so he could attend his vital hospital appointments; and awarded another older lady a tablet to provide much needed entertainment and company for the days she is on her own.”
Through the Christmas Appeal, Friends of the Elderly has also helped an elderly couple by awarding them a grant to pay for an urgent oil delivery, which helped them immensely as it alleviated the stress and worry of deciding between eating and having a hot meal or being able to heat their home.
The recipient said: “I’ve always worked, that is until I got ill in 2015 and had a heart attack, and now here I am, still struggling. We were down to the last inch of oil. People say to just put away £10 a week and save up but it’s not easy to do that when all your money gets spent on other essential things. We cut down a lot on how much we ate and insulated where we could. Your grant was so welcome. It’s unbelievable, thank you so much. An (oil) tank like the one you got us can last us just over six months. It was a weight off my shoulders; we were really worried so it gave me a lot of relief.”
Mark added: “Our Christmas Appeal is vitally important as it allows us to help, support and make tangible, positive differences to many older people, their lives and daily routines during the cold and lonely winter months. Every penny we receive is match-funded by the Edward Gostling Foundation and goes towards making sure older people do not feel alone or forgotten this winter.”
To find out more about Friends of the Elderly’s 2020 Christmas Appeal please visit: https://www.fote.org.uk/support-us/christmas-appeal/