Experience the Joy of the Outdoors: Steepleton Manor Care Home Residents Embrace the Benefits of Getting Out Together in the Fresh Air

Residents from Steepleton Manor Care Home had a wonderful day out. They went on a special adventure with the help and support of an amazing local charity – Cycling Without Age in Weymouth. They rode together in a trishaw bike to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having and the fresh air.

Lisa Mathews, our activities coordinator, joined the residents on their exciting 14-mile journey. Volunteers from Cycling Without Age made sure that each resident had a chance to enjoy this invigorating experience as they felt the wind in their hair and a sense of freedom during the ride.

The experience started by the beautiful seafront in Weymouth, passing along the seafront and the busy harbour then following the Rodwell trail to Ferrybridge. The residents had the chance to see the beauty of nature and enjoy the peaceful sights and sounds around us.

We cycled through Radipole Park and eventually returned to where we started at Lodmoor. The residents’ smiles showed how much they had connected with the world around them and experienced the simple joys that we often overlook, like the sounds of nature and the sight of flowers. It was clear that getting out in the fresh air had a profound impact on them. They slept well that night.

This inspiring story reminds us that everyone deserves the chance to enjoy the outdoors, regardless of their age or circumstances. Exercise and fresh air are beneficial for everyone, enriching lives and creating a stronger sense of community.

Getting together really supported individuals to feel part of a group, and combat the feelings of loneliness and isolation.

So, let’s ask someone to step outside with us, take a deep breath, and embrace the many benefits that nature offers and feel more fulfilled and less lonely.

Moving On From Loneliness

Loneliness is definitely something that many people experience in later life. Perhaps a partner has passed away and other family members live too far away to visit often. Reduced mobility can also make it harder to get out and meet people and socialise.

One of the hardest things about loneliness can be talking about it. Loneliness Awareness Week aims to change that. In 2023 the week will run between June 12-18 and is being organised by the wonderful Marmalade Trust.

What is Loneliness?

The Marmalade Trust defines loneliness as a mismatch between the level of social contact we have and the level we’d like to have. There’s a strong personal element as some people need company more than others.

Acknowledging that you feel lonely is the first step towards doing something about it. This is actually true for a whole range of care and support needs. Removing the stigma is essential if we want people to open up about their feelings. Being lonely is often down to circumstances – and circumstances can be changed.

Explore Your Options

Loneliness isn’t inevitable in later life. 

There are many options that would allow you or someone you know to lead a more active social life.

When we talk about care needs it’s easy to assume that we mean someone who is struggling to look after themselves or has a medical condition. We define a care need as anything that stops you enjoying the most fulfilling life possible. Loneliness and lack of social contact definitely fall into this definition.

In the case of loneliness, a care at home service can offer daily conversation and companionship. Care at home can also help get you to social activities and identify groups you can join.

A simple conversation can lead to a big change and a more engaged life. Give Altogether Care a call on 01305 300 161, visit our website, or email contact@altogethercare.co.uk.

What Can You Do to Help a Lonely Person This Christmas?

Costs You Nothing but Will Mean the World to a Lonely Person

A few simple acts of kindness and consideration can make a huge difference to the lives of many, especially those feeling lonely this Christmas.

Imagine if you were suddenly cut off from your
friends, family, work colleagues and everybody you interact with daily,
wandering around an empty home with only the echoes of your footsteps for
company. When you venture outside, you’re seen but never noticed. How long
could you stand it? A few hours, a day, a week? How would you start to feel
inside? What if your life was a prospect of this, day after day, seemingly
without end?

A World
Without Words

If the thought of that type of loneliness
fills you with sadness or even horror, now consider that there are over a
million older people living among us for whom that is the daily reality. They
can go a whole month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
225,000 elderly people often go a whole week without speaking to anyone at all
(Age UK).

Not surprisingly, this can have a crushing
effect on wellbeing and mental and physical health.

Does a Lonely Person Look Like?

How would you know if somebody was lonely?
They’re probably not going to tell you or ask for help. Pride and the stigma
surrounding loneliness and mental health will get in the way. This means it’s
up to the rest of us to take the initiative and be a bit more vigilant and a
bit more caring.

What to look out for:

  • Most people won’t admit they are
    lonely, but they might give verbal clues like saying they never see anyone.
  • If someone you know seems down or
    depressed, or if they never seem to want to end a conversation, it could be
    down to loneliness.
  • Lonely people sometimes complain about
    imaginary illnesses.

Feeling lonely isn’t just restricted to
Christmas. Many elderly people experience loneliness all year round, often
being unable to venture outside and talk to anyone for weeks. It is important
to work together to help combat loneliness and improve the wellbeing of other
members of the community. 

There are simple ways you can help:

  • Start a conversation with an older
  • Call an older relative.
  • Check in with an older neighbour.
  • Volunteer within the community or
    with charities like AgeUK.

The first three of these may seem trivial and
insignificant, but to somebody who is experiencing loneliness, they could mean
the world.

The power of ‘giving your words’ is encapsulated in the Cadbury’s campaign that aims to raise money for Age UK. They donate 30p for each special edition chocolate bar sold with no words on the packaging. It’s not just about the donations, it’s also bringing home the message that a simple conversation and a few words can make all the difference to a lonely person.

We believe in supporting vulnerable people in a community that we are part of, at Christmas and all year round. To find out more about how we help the community, read our Christmas article here.

Some recent day to day activities