Loneliness is a growing problem among older people, especially in care homes
Residents of Westmorland and Furness are being urged to spread the festive cheer and send Christmas cards to their local care homes and day centres this December.
The ask is part of the ‘Cards for Kindness’ project which was originally set up in summer 2018 and has since grown across Lancashire and Cumbria, with almost 200 care homes in these areas now participating.
Loneliness is a growing problem among older people, especially in care homes, and being lonely can have the same effect on someone’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
These homemade cards, which will bring a smile to recipients’ faces and prompt conversations, can be shared with your nearest participating care home directly. You can find your nearest care home or day centre by visiting the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board website.
Schools, libraries, Scouts and Guides and local arts and crafts groups have strongly supported this campaign in recent years and Westmorland and Furness Council is calling on them to back the scheme again this Christmas.
This year, the theme is animals – as studies show that being around pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Having a pet at home can also help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation too. However, if you’d prefer to draw festive animal, such as reindeers, you can.
All types of cards are welcome, whether homemade or bought – all that’s needed is a cheerful message inside to brighten someone’s day. You can also send an e-card by designing it online and sending it to the care home of your choice.
Cllr Patricia Bell, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Care, said: “The card for kindness campaign is a simple, yet hugely powerful initiative and I urge all residents within Westmorland and Furness Council to lend their support.
“It might seem like a small gesture to some, but to someone feeling lonely in a care home or day centre, it can really make a difference to their overall wellbeing.
“So please, get involved if you can and make someone’s Christmas.”
Cath Whalley, Director of Adult Social Care at Westmorland and Furness Council added: “This fantastic scheme promotes a sense of connection and community and reduces feelings of loneliness in our care home residents.
“We’d love for as many people as possible to get involved and we are really looking forward to seeing everyone’s lovely messages.”