4 simple ways to help make the elderly feel less lonely

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Recently, Ladders reported on the staggering spike in suicides amongst older generations. Depressed elderly participants that reported battling suicidal ideations lamented loneliness and a lack of purpose the most frequently as the reason. According to a new study, conducted by Cadbury Dairy Milk in collaboration with Age UK, focused on individuals aged 65 years and older, tiny instances of interaction go a long way to repudiate their depressive episodes.

More than six million older people said that just a few minutes of a phone conversation with a friend or loved one would improve their week drastically. An additional 500,000 respondents said that they are so crippled by their loneliness they can’t even leave the house most days in order to complete important errands. In any given week, 2.6 million elderly people interact with three or fewer people, and just about 225,00 of the same demographic go a whole week without conversing with anyone at all.

Donate your words

Focused by the data above, Canary DairyMilk launched a campaign called Donate Your Words to help reduce the presence of loneliness in the elderly.  Participation merely requires the young to make an effort whenever they can to ensure that the older members of their community feel seen and appreciated. Age UK’s corresponding survey revealed that 38% of elderly citizens feel more at ease when they simply know their neighbor’s name, 26% of respondents said that their day was made brighter when someone waved hello to them at the bus stop or while waiting in line, and 21% eagerly welcome a ‘How’s your day going?’ every now and again.

“We’re so proud to announce this partnership and to be supporting Age UK – it’s such an important charity that is really tackling the issue of loneliness,” said Laura Gray, the brand manager at Mondelez. “We are donating the words from our bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk and encouraging people up and down the country to donate theirs through small gestures that could really help change the lives of older people.”