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.