96 year old Ina worked as a hairdresser before joining the Land Army during World War Two. She now lives in Scotland, and has been living alone since her husband John died in 2002. Things haven’t always been easy for Ina, she lost her only child and suffered four miscarriages, but having John with her through all the hardships kept her going.
When John died, Ina found herself alone. Her sisters died soon after her husband, and getting into her 90s, many of Ina’s friends had also passed away. She found herself becoming increasingly isolated, and started feeling trapped in her home. She said:
“Life becomes insular as you get older, and even though I love my home very much, it does become like a wee prison.”
One day a leaflet explaining Contact the Elderly's (now Re-engage) work dropped through Ina’s door, and inviting her to come along to a tea party in her area. She remembered what John had always told her, and decided to reach out to Contact the Elderly.
This decision changed Ina’s life completely. In her words:
“It’s been the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. When you’re left alone as I am and many others are, it can be so damaging, but the people who’ve hosted me have been truly out of this world.”
It’s likely that you know someone like Ina. There are over 2 million over 75s living alone in the UK and this number is only set to increase. Companionship is key when trying to tackle the loneliness epidemic, refer a guest today and change a life.
Note - Contact the Elderly is now Re-engage
Contact the Elderly welcomes government announcement of £20 million fund to help tackle loneliness
Through our work with thousands of the most isolated older people in the UK, we know how widespread the problem of loneliness is, and how damaging it can be for people's physical and mental wellbeing.
Contact the Elderly announces new CEO
Trustees and staff are delighted welcome Meryl Davies as new CEO.