Monday, January 09, 2017

Connecting older people with arthritis in Nairnshire

Loneliness and isolation are bad for our health and, like obesity or smoking, they can kill. That is why Arthritis Care Scotland has developed a new service for older people with arthritis who live in the Nairnshire area and are socially isolated. The service, called Staying Connected in Later Life, aims to help people over 60 cope better with their condition by participating in a short-term, 1-1 mentoring programme provided by trained volunteers visiting them at home.

Marion MacNeil, the Service Manager for Staying Connected, said, “Not everyone who lives alone feels lonely. But if you live in fear of falling, for example, this fear can affect how you live your life, often leading to isolation. We know that absence of social connections can have a significant effect on a person’s health and recent research suggests it can be as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“This service is aimed at people who no longer attend activities due to lack of mobility, lack of energy, or perhaps lack of confidence. We want to reduce the loneliness felt by many people living with arthritis, and aim to help them gain some control over their symptoms, and their lives.”

The service is currently recruiting volunteers to provide their time for one hour a week (eight weeks at a time) for a minimum of one year. All volunteers will receive training in mentoring, person-centred planning and self-management, plus out of pocket expenses. For more information about volunteering, or about the service, contact Marion MacNeil on 07773 033 695 or email:

Below are images from the Staying Connected in later life leaflet - click on them to enlarge. 

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