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Monday, 15 November 2010

Room with a Brew

Dear Blog," Many older people miss the company and warm welcome of a family home, and that's exactly what one wonderful charity provides, along with a cuppa and plenty of cake".

So began an article that I read in one of the Sunday supplements yesterday.  It was such a good idea, and so simple really, that I felt it was certainly worthy of a mention in my Blog.

Unfortunately, here in England, it sometimes seems that old (or elderly) people are a bit of a nuisance, they get in the way, and are not valued in the way that they ought to be.  This seems so unfair, because it is their generation that have been through a world war, with all the hardship that entails, and the older ones may even have been through two world wars. 

From what I have seen in other European Countries (certainly Italy and France) this does not happen there.  The old are welcomed into the hearts of families and treated with the respect they deserve.

How many times have perhaps we ourselves just hurried past someone who is old, and who may be smiling at us, and would welcome a simple "hello".    This particular charity, called Contact the Elderly (CTE) concentrates on hosting old folk's tea parties at volunteer's homes.  The founder and chairman of the charity says that Mother Teresa once said "that being alone and unwanted is the world's greatest disease."  So this charity arranges for people over 75 who live on their own to be driven to the homes of volunteer hosts in order to enjoy a few hours around a tea table in the kind of atmosphere that an impersonal Day Centre may be unable to provide. 

Volunteer hosts make home-made cakes, as well as serving up good old-fashioned bread, butter and jam.  Can you imagine what a wonderful life-line that must be to someone who is old (and perhaps infirm) with no family living nearby? Often, also, of course, as one gets older, your circle of friends can become smaller.  (One poignant letter that the charity received was from a lady who said "with your tea parties, I've got something to live for.").

What a wonderful way to show these people that they DO still count in society.


17 comments:

ANichols.Too said...

Such a sweet idea! There should be more like them....

SkippyMom said...

This is such a lovely idea. There really should be something like that here too.

I know that when I volunteered for Meals on Wheels and delivered lunches and dinners it was sometimes the only contact of the day that these sweet people had. Some days what should've taken an hour to do would take me 3 or 4 because they all wanted to talk - and I was happy to listen while they chatted or showed me pics, etc. It made me sad though that they were so lonely.

Thanks for the post.

Becky said...

What a beautiful idea! I think the U.S. has lost the meaning of what "family" is, as well. We tend to spread out and move away from our families and rarely see each other. The elderly are very often forgotten about and are unimportant. I see this at my mom's nursing home. So many rarely have visitors (family or not) that come to see them. Breaks my heart.

Thisisme said...

SkippyMom, it IS said, isn't it. I'm sure you brought a lot of pleasure to those peoples' lives when you were doing Meals on Wheels.

Thisisme said...

Becky, yes I agree with you. I suppose it all started when people had to move away from their home towns to get jobs. I can remember, when I was young, the family lived either in the same street, or a couple of streets away, and there was always someone to keep an eye on the children, and the grandma or grandad usually lived with one of the family.

becca said...

i love older people because they have such great stories to tell. they have lived through things i can only read about. i use to love listening to my grandma tell stories of her childhood i really miss hearing those stories

Bouncin' Barb said...

What a great charity. When I worked in banking I would love waiting on senior citizens. Think of what they've seen in their lifetimes and the stories they have. It's all so great. My mom will be 86 in January and I love asking her about her youth and memories. Sad we don't have the same principles as other countries on aging. Great post.

Thisisme said...

Barb & Becca, Yes, they have wonderful stories to tell. I often wished that I had written down what my mum used to tell me, because those memories are gone for ever once the older generation have passed on.

Gawgus things... said...

One thing I've also noticed in France, is that as soon as you reach 'a certain age', you're not banished from the TV screens either. They certainly respect their elders here and realise that, you know what, they have been there, done it and got the t-shirt so really should be listened to as they know what they're talking about!

Thisisme said...

Thats an excellent comment on banishing older people from our TV screens. Although I have to say that IT IS ONLY THE WOMEN that they do that to! There is real controversy here at the moment about that very point. Some of the men that you have to look at - well! But, certainly, as far as the ladies go, you would be hard pushed to be on the TV after 50. How sad is that??

caterpillar said...

This is a great idea, and one, I believe, is very relevant these days.

Biz said...

What a wonderful idea! My mom is 70 and lives by herself - but she's more active than I am!

Thisisme said...

To caterpillar & Biz - thank you for dropping into my Blog!

lakeviewer said...

I've arrived from Linda's blog to say hello. People are living longer and longer, and societies have not adjusted yet.

Thisisme said...

hi there lakeviewer. Lovely of you to drop in! Yes, I totally agree about people living much longer these days. Let's hope that society adjusts very soon!

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

that is such a great and neat idea. I love that.

LindyLouMac said...

I have never heard of this scheme, but what a brilliant idea. You are right when you mention Italy, very family orientated here still, especially in the rural areas.