City Council is Working to Tackle the Isolation Problem in Leeds
More than 230,000 people were living in Leeds in 2011, with nearly 150,000 of residents being over the age of 60. Around 31,000 of the senior citizen population in 2011 was over the age of 80, and many individuals in this age category admitted to having either severe or progressively deteriorating health. As interesting as the numbers are regarding how many Leeds residents are elderly, is the prospect of an additional 25,000 persons over the age of 50 joining the senior classification. A large number of older persons in the city is why council members of Leeds are working to reduce isolation significantly.
The Isolation Problem in Leeds
Many elderly residents admit that they are lonely in Leeds. Whereas some separation is due to illnesses such as dementia, many older people find themselves detached from the rest of society simply because of their decision to remain independent. Residents over the age of 70 who choose to stay in their homes instead of moving to assisted living communities sometimes find it difficult to get around town for errands and to spend time with loved ones. While one day, or even a week, away from the masses can render positive results, remaining alone for several weeks at a time can have detrimental effects on the brain and physical elements. Such is the condition of elderly residents, though.
Many older individuals remain in their homes for months because they are unable to get up and out of the house to be with others in society. Such isolation can lead to everything from Alzheimer’s disease to depression in mature citizens. The severity of isolation, when left unaddressed, is why the Leeds Council has launched several programmes that encourage older people to get out and meet people.
The Welcome In Centre
The Welcome In Centre opened its doors on February 25, 2017, in what was once known as the Bedford Arms Pub. The company is operated by an organisation referred to as the Older People’s Action in the Locality (OPAL). The group aims to provide safe and accessible programmes for senior of all ages as a means of preventing isolation. The Welcome In Centre has a kitchen along with various meeting rooms for socialisation. There are plans to further expand this project by building more activity rooms.
In addition to the Welcome In Centre, the Farnley Friendly Faces organisation was recently given funds to reach those who are isolated because of dementia. Such persons can no longer leave their homes without assistance, which is why the Farnley Friendly Faces group is important. A dedicated worker from the organisation provides the ailing patient company and support that may lead to older people taking more walks in the park.
Other services, such as the Ciaran Bingham Foundation Trust and Time to Shine, also work in the city to reduce social isolation.