26 February 2016

We’re often contacted by people worried about their mum or dad as they’re getting older. Here’s five things that can make a massive difference to how well and happy people feel:

1. Chat
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Sometimes older people spend the day without speaking to anyone but we’re naturally sociable creatures and it’s really important to keep talking.

Your mum or dad might appreciate a quick phone call to hear about your day if you’re not able to pop in and see them. Also encourage them to speak to others. It could be anywhere – in a shop, talking to a neighbour…. There’s also Silverline for people who can’t get out: www.thesilverline.org.uk

2. Move around

Exercising releases happy hormones from the brain, as well as physical benefits. A gentle walk around the block or visit to your local garden centre will do it. There are also groups in Sheffield to help people stay active.

3. Take notice
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Mindfulness and meditation are becoming more popular and mainstream. But you don’t need to sign up to this to ‘take notice’. Taking a break from daily lives can just mean slowing down and taking time to savour the moment. And it helps.

4. Keep learning
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Have your mum or dad got any interests or things they always wanted to do? Local libraries are good place to start for inspiration or see what’s promoted through the Sheffield Directory.

5. Help others
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Helping other people is a brilliant way to feel good about yourself. This could be friends or neighbours. Sheffield also has a thriving voluntary sector and there are loads of different ways to get involved.

See volunteering opportunities with Age Better in Sheffield or Voluntary Action Sheffield.

6. And finally….
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We said there were five things to help keep your mum and dad well but there’s actually another really important thing – and that’s you!

Caring for someone can be hard going and it’s important to look after yourself. There’s help and support available for people in Sheffield: www.sheffield.gov.uk/carers

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for health and independent living at Sheffield City Council, said: “We want people to stay well and be happy here in Sheffield. There are things people can do to help them feel good and we want everyone to know about them.”

Age Better in Sheffield
Sheffield City Council is supporting Age Better in Sheffield, a £6m investment programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by South Yorkshire Housing Association.

It aims to reduce isolation in people aged 50 and over.

By 2021, we aim to empower 26,710 people to reduce their loneliness, and hit a target of 10,000 volunteers and people engaging with Age Better in Sheffield.

There are lots of different ways to get involved including

  • Volunteering
  • Getting help with going out and about
  • Learning something new

Visit www.agebettersheff.co.uk for more information.