Pioneering “Buddy Scheme” brings together students with older people with Dementia to fight loneliness
“𝗕𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗗𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝗺𝗲, 𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗮 𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲. 𝗜𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗸. 𝗡𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁. 𝗜 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗱 – 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗗𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝗽 𝗺𝘆 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱!”
Pioneering volunteering ‘buddy scheme’ that brings together students with older people who have dementia. The project is being run by student.com to raise awareness about mental health and tackle loneliness. It’s been such a huge success that it’s about to be rolled out to other big cities across the UK.
Yorkshire’s volunteer initiative brings together students with older people with Dementia to fight loneliness
Born 65 years apart, the Dimitri and Liz have become the closest of friends. Dimitri is 19 years old and from Greece. He’s studying biomedical engineering in Sheffield. Liz is almost 85, a retired teacher.
“Being a few thousand miles away from home, sometimes I felt homesick and when I interact with Liz, she reminds me of my grandparents”
“Before Dimitri came to see me, I had a boring life. It was blank. No excitement. He shows me different things about the world. Including Facebook” – Liz
Seniors and Isolation
The effects of isolation and loneliness can have severe negative impacts on the health of seniors. One study found that lonely seniors have a 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline, and a 45% greater risk of death. Loneliness can also cause seniors to spend more time indoors, and avoid physical activity.
Age is just a number, not a barrier for friendship
It’s easy for older people to feel they are either invisible or a burden. Often, the most important thing we can do to cheer people up is simply listening to them. Asking pertinent questions helps, too.
The initiative garnered thousands of likes and shares around the globe. With comments like:
The buddy scheme is a great initiative that a lot of aged care or home care facilities worldwide can replicate. 𝐷𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒’𝑠 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑; 𝑏𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢’𝑑 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑!