People are living longer (with the proportion of people aged over 75 rising rapidly) and over half of the over 75-year-olds live alone and have few friends or relatives nearby.
It is a proven fact that an older person’s quality of life can quickly deteriorate through fragility or disability. Frustrated when simple tasks become a struggle, people who live alone can become increasingly lonely and isolated.
The practice together with the charity RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is creating a patient befriending scheme to help combat these feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Volunteers may visit the less mobile and elderly patients for a cup of tea and a chat, whether it be on a regular or ad hoc basis.
The scheme can also cover things like collecting shopping and small DIY jobs.
We are working with RSVP, as they have lots of experience in this field, having helped to create such schemes both in Bristol and North Somerset.
RSVP is active across England, Scotland and Wales and is a part of CSV (Community Service Volunteers), and they specialise in engaging and supporting volunteers, aged 50+ who wish to become active in their community.
There are currently 17000 volunteers, giving their time in communities and there are over 250 different RSVP projects and services.
To operate the befriending scheme the surgery requires help and is currently recruiting volunteers who are aged 50 plus from within its patient base.
If you are registered with us and want to add something to your community by becoming a volunteer, then please speak to one of our receptionists or contact Kirsty Gibbs, South Gloucestershire Surgery Schemes Organiser, of RSVP whose telephone number is 07814 098684.