Beat loneliness

One very pressing concern of our politicians today, is the ‘flooding’ of our hospitals with old people.

Preventative medicine was much talked about several years ago. It has, in my opinion, been much overlooked and underrated in the care of the elderly.

Many old people, living on their own, are desperately lonely. This gives rise to anxiety, depression and a sense of futility. This, in turn, causes a decline in physical health. Particularly those suffering from mobility problems, the housebound, are suffering solitary confinement.

The need is for more day centres. With the closure of Exe Bank, there are only two in Exmouth – the one at Davey Court and Age Concern.

There is so much red tape attached to the setting up of a day centre today. One is discouraged by the number of rules and regulations. However, tremendous benefit would accrue. Voluntary help could possibly offset the expense of starting and running – not one or two – but several. Community day centres would be in keeping with David Cameron’s vision of a ‘Big Society’.

I do not envisage ‘lunch clubs’ running from 12 - 2pm, but proper day centres, open from 10am to 4pm.

Voluntary help could be sought for transport and drivers would be more willing to leave their charges for a longer period. No ‘speakers’ would be desirable. The more able would be encouraged to organise activities so that the atmosphere would not be ‘them’ and ‘us’.

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We need council-run day centres in Exmouth – urgently.

E M Conner

92 Halsdon Avenue, Exmouth.

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