Don’t forget those living alone during lockdown, Probus Club urges

Claremont Meadows couple Barbara and Glen Davis. Photo: Megan Dunn.
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Residents are being urged to reach out to older citizens during lockdown, with many experiencing extreme isolation and loneliness.

Glenmore Park Probus Club members Barbara and Glen Davis said there appeared to be a lack of messaging about checking on your elderly neighbours.

“We constantly hear on the TV how the youngsters miss their friends and going out, the children miss their friends at school, but nobody seems to be thinking about the seniors during all this,” Mrs Davis said.

“As Membership Officer and VP of our Club, I have organised a ‘Telephone Tree’ where each of the committee telephones a group of our members each week to make sure they are coping OK.

“We did this last year too, and back then we identified certain members who were not coping at all well, being on their own.”

She said this encouraged them to make a much bigger effort this lockdown.

“We have also started to have Zoom meetings too, but these only apply to members who are internet savvy,” she said.

Mr Davis said most of their members have been obeying the lock down rules “to the letter”, as would be expected.

“Many of our members are living alone, often widowed,” he said.

“Some even have no children or family to have contact with, or have family who live away.

“These people are struggling too, and I think this should be recognised.”

The Claremont Meadows couple suggested slipping a note under the door, leaving a care package, writing a letter, or better yet, making a phone call if possible.

“People want to actually physically talk to people, this is what we are finding,” Mrs Davis said.

“When we’re phoning people, the minute you say who you are, they say ‘you’ve made my day’, they’re so pleased to hear another voice.”

Mrs Davis said even the smallest gesture could lift someone’s spirits.

“Last time, even though we are the eldest people in our very small street, we didn’t have one person contact us to see how we were doing,” she said.

“Luckily we have each other and are OK, but there are many seniors who are not OK, and could do with a friendly call from a neighbour.”

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