How Casserole Club is helping tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people this winter

With winter just around the corner and the many extra pressures it puts on older people, it’s the time of year when we need to rally together and all do our bit to help our neighbours as a little thought can go a long way.

Older people make an enormous contribution to society and the economy but winter can be a particularly harsh time for them.  Colder weather brings additional problems and so it’s important to encourage older people to keep warm at home and get their free flu jab to avoid ill health.

We continue to work hard with our partners in health and the voluntary sector. Plans are already in place to promote the national Winter Well/Warm Campaign in order to spread the message about the importance of keeping healthy and well over the next few months.  There’s a wealth of useful advice and tips for people on our Staffordshire Cares website at www.staffordshirecares.info

Only last month we held our first Aging Well Summit which saw the coming together of a range of different organisations to discuss ways in which we can work together to help people to age well.

Our work to create dementia friendly communities across Staffordshire will also help raise awareness of dementia across local businesses and the general public, allowing people to better access their communities.

Research by Age UK already shows us that more than half of those over 80 years of age are lonely and an increasing 1.3 million people aged over 65 suffer from malnutrition, both of which are preventable.  A unique scheme that is helping us to tackle this while building community spirit is Casserole Club.  It’s a very simple project that helps people to share extra portions of their home-cooked food with other people in their area, like older adults who find it difficult to cook their own meals.

Cooks simply prepare a meal in their own home, popping a portion in a container and dropping it round later that day to an older neighbour they have been matched with.  Over 350 people have already registered their interest to cook, so if you think you can help or know of a diner who would benefit from a hot meal and chat then please join atwww.casseroleclub.com

It is definitely great news that we are living longer and is something we should all celebrate. Doing the right thing is supporting people to live healthier, more active and independent lives for as long as possible.

Remember we can all help, so please look out for your elderly relatives and neighbours this winter.

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