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16 April 2020

Reducing older people’s loneliness while staying at home

Reducing older people’s loneliness while staying at home
With Covid-19 affecting households across Wales, for housing associations it’s more important than ever that tenants are able to access vital support. Adra in North Wales are trying their best to reduce the loneliness and isolation of vulnerable tenants, or those over 70 years old at this time. Sarah Schofield, Customers and Communities Director at Adra says:

“As a result of Coronavirus, social distancing, self-isolation, and the government’s guidelines could mean that older people, especially those who live by themselves, aren’t seeing or having a chat with anyone at the moment. This could cause older people to feel lonely, isolated and depressed.

We are a housing association with a clear focus on our tenants, customers and communities. Our community values are so important to us and a commitment we take seriously.

While facing this challenging time we need to have innovative solutions to meet the needs of our most vulnerable tenants. I’m proud to see our staff continuing to support our tenants, although in a different way, in these unprecedented circumstances.”

As a result, Adra has organised for their staff to get in touch with tenants who are older than 70 years old, or vulnerable, to have a friendly and supportive chat with them. 30 of Adra’s staff have now managed to get in touch with 1,000 tenants to check that they’re ok and to help them in any way they can.

Adra Tenancy Support Officers also keep in touch regularly with the most vulnerable tenants by offering a chat over the phone, seeing how they can be of help and making arrangements for them, as well as offering a listening ear, during this challenging time.

Elin, a Support Officer for older people, has been phoning an individual who has a learning disability at the same time every day to remind her to wash her clothes, to complete tasks like throwing out food that’s gone off, and so on. Elin has also organised volunteers in the area to help the individual with her shopping. This individual doesn’t have friends or family to support her, so having a chat with Elin every day is incredibly valuable to her.

Community Involvement Officer, Charlotte, has been helping an older tenant get his prescription and has been coordinating with the doctor’s surgery to make sure the tenant has access to everything he needs.

Sophie, a Supporting Older People and Housing Trainee has been phoning a husband and wife regularly for a chat, as they are finding it difficult not seeing or speaking with people while in isolation.

Steffan, a Housing Support Officer has also been phoning many of Adra’s tenants and customers to offer help with organising volunteers or help with prescription, and making sure that everything’s ok.”

For more information on how Adra is dealing with Coronavirus, and the support available for tenants, as well as more information about community services, and much more, visit: adra.co.uk

Housing associations in Wales will be profiling the work they are doing to support tenants in Wales through a new campaign called 'With You'. Follow this campaign through CHC's Twitter page @CHCymru and searching for the hashtag #withyou