We are an ageing society. That’s a fact. When we think of the term ageing, most people probably imagine a lonely, dull life with only the television for company.
But LOOPs (Local Opportunities for Older People) are challenging this idea. We want to give older people the excitement and fun they deserve and ensure that our ageing population is properly looked after. This is why we are committed to providing over 65s across Edinburgh with all the information and contacts they need to live their lives to the fullest.
LOOPs are a charity that run a dedicated phone line. People over 65, their family members and their care workers can speak to a team of friendly volunteers for information and advice on activities and services across the city. Our ambition is to help combat isolation in the elderly, especially because studies show that being lonely is as bad for your health as smoking ten cigarettes a day.
How do we help those in need?
We received a call from a 77 year old lady who has a diagnosis of dementia and lives with her son. Although her daughter visits daily, she is often left alone while everyone is at work and is unable to go out unaccompanied. How could she become less socially isolated?
LOOPs had the answer. We contacted a number of services for adults with dementia that could provide the care and enjoyable companionship in a safe environment that our client needed.
Once we have helped our callers to find activities, we identify the transport they may need to ‘get oot the hoose.’ We recognise that reduced mobility or proximity to buses are often a barrier to participation. An elderly caller who enjoys Aquafit was struggling to attend the classes as walking to the leisure centre left her exhausted. LOOPs successfully connected her to services such as Dial-a-Bus so she could easily make the journey.
In October, the Luminate Festival will take place in Edinburgh, celebrating creativity as we age. LOOPs will be hosting several events, including Sew and Snack, which will combine art with socialising, increasing awareness of our service in a relaxed setting.
We are a relatively new charity and seek to reach out to as many people as possible. Our website has further information and includes a blog.
The best way to contact us is by phoning 0131 603 8311. Our phone line is open from 10am to 2pm on weekdays. Email enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.