Helping 'a brighter Christmas' happen - society supports age UK's Christmas campaign
Yorkshire Building Society is supporting Age UK to help them to make this Christmas a little brighter for lonely older people. Nearly 3.5 million older people in the UK are not looking forward to Christmas and almost 1.5 million older people in the UK often feel lonelier at Christmas than any other time of year.
There are plenty of simple and very practical things we can all do to help older people feel included and supported over the festive season, such as:
Sharing time together: Check in regularly with your older relatives, friends and neighbours to see how they’re feeling, and find out if there’s anything they need. Invite them round for a coffee or lunch or if you’re unable to visit in person there’s still plenty you can do to show you care – a phone or video call, making homemade cards, letters or even small gifts.
Lending a hand: if you’re able to, be a good neighbour by offering simple, immediate assistance to older people nearby, such as offering to pick up shopping or run errands – ensuring you’re following all the relevant COVID guidance and advice that might be in place.
Giving out these useful numbers: for practical information and advice, Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65. For a cheerful chat, day or night, The Silver Line Helpline: 0800 4 70 80 90.
Fundraising for Age UK: Now’s a great time to get involved and raise much-needed money and support for older people. Why not speak to the team next time you’re in your local YBS to find out more on how you can get involved or visit the website Age UK | YBS.
Last year Yorkshire Building Society and Age UK joined forces to raise £1m to help improve the financial wellbeing of older people.
2.1 million older people are still living in poverty which means they have to make difficult choices every day about how to spend their limited money. That might mean deciding between switching the heating on or buying less food.
Yorkshire Building Society is proud to be supporting Age UK to help change this. Together we’re aiming to raise £1 million to enable Age UK to deliver the Building Better Lives programme, strengthening the financial resilience of older people.
The Building Better Lives programme is supporting some of the most vulnerable older people in communities across the country. Trained expert advisors are providing in-depth, tailored one to one support through sessions that are designed to be holistic. They focus on the older person and the issues they are facing, helping them to set goals, overcome their challenges and identify areas that could become an issue before they hit crisis.
Nearly a million pensioner households are entitled to, but not receiving, pension credit and 200,000 households are missing out on help with rent through Housing Benefit. In a single year £2.2 billion of these two benefits goes unclaimed.
Since launching the Building Better Lives programme, Age UK have supported 812 older people who have experienced life-changing events and worked with them to improve their situation and plan for their future. So far, Age UK have helped unlock an average of £1,500 worth of benefits for each person supported by the programme, helping to make a real difference to older people’s finances.
Through the Building Better Lives programme Age UK has provided vital advice and support to older people facing a wide range of issues – people just like John.
John cares for his wife who has a diagnosis of dementia. John was shocked at the impact of the diagnosis and the speed at which his wife has declined. John was feeling the strain of his caring responsibilities, and his wife’s dementia was deteriorating making her more anxious and difficult. It has been such a shock to him and the family.
John is very independent and found it really difficult to ask for help from strangers, feeling that it is his responsibility to care for his wife. John approached Age UK to enquire about applying for a blue badge. He met with a friendly Age UK advisor who chatted to John and asked questions to understand more about his situation. It soon became clear that the Blue Badge was not John’s only concern. The Age UK advisor took the time to outline other ways that they could help including supporting John to complete a benefits claim to help to relieve some of the financial burdens of caring with a loved one with dementia. They also helped him to arrange a caring assessment which meant that his wife could visit a day centre twice a week, giving her a bit of independence and John some much needed respite.
I have always heard horror stories around the care system and was unsure how I even start the process. Having someone to talk to made such a difference.