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Pioneering “Buddy Scheme” brings together students with older people with Dementia to fight loneliness


“๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฒ, ๐—œ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ. ๐—œ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ธ. ๐—ก๐—ผ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜. ๐—œ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ – ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐——๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐—บ๐˜† ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฑ!”

Pioneering volunteering โ€˜buddy schemeโ€™ 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. Itโ€™s been such a huge success that itโ€™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”
– Dimitri


“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 ofย isolationย and loneliness can have severe negativeย impactsย on the health ofย seniors. One study found that lonelyย seniors have a 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline, and a 45% greater risk of death. Loneliness can also cause seniorsย to spend more time indoors, and avoid physical activity.

Age is just a number, not a barrier for friendship

It’s easy forย older peopleย to feel they are either invisible or a burden. Often, the most important thing we can do toย 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.ย ๐ท๐‘œ๐‘›’๐‘ก ๐‘—๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘๐‘’๐‘™๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’’๐‘  ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘™๐‘‘; ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘‘ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข’๐‘‘ ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘˜๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘ ๐‘’๐‘’ ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ๐‘™๐‘‘!







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