Contact the Elderly's (now Re-engage) GP initiative has been recognised by Care England as a solution to combating loneliness amongst older people.
Thanks to the launching of several new friendship groups in GP surgeries, the benefits of have been noted amongst health care professionals for reducing the number of older patients visiting their GPs purely because they are lonely. Furthermore, GP surgeries who host those groups have noted a reduction in the strain on their services.
Contact the Elderly was thrilled to be part of Caring Communities 2015 with Care England on Thursday 12 November. At the conference, Contact the Elderly was part of 8 organisations showcasing their initiatives within the care sector.
Mary Rance, CEO, said: "We now have three Contact the Elderly groups meeting monthly in GP surgeries, and we hope to continue replicating this service model throughout the UK. GPs come into contact with isolated older people on a daily basis, and they know their patients well so are in a great position to invite those most in need to join a group and spend quality time interacting with them. In turn this reduces the patients' need for appointments and ultimately reduces the strain on services."
Care England joined forces with ITN Productions to create an hour-long news and current affairs-style programme called ‘Caring Communities’, featuring Contact the Elderly as one of the sponsored editorials.
The clip focuses on the simple yet effective concept of monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties and the far-reaching effects these have on both older guests and volunteers. The clip also features a tea party group held in a GP surgery.
The inclusion of Contact the Elderly in the ‘Caring Communities’ programme puts our service in the unique position of being significant help to health care services. Our community-led tea parties are completely free to attend thanks to our network of dedicated volunteers, and our research shows that 96% of our older guests say the tea parties give them something to look forward to.
Note - Contact the Elderly is now Re-engage