Crossroads in your prime project tackles loneliness and social isolation among older people in Northern Ireland.
Existing health conditions or impairments can lead to a curtailment of independence and can limit social roles, resulting in feelings of loneliness. Conversely, chronic feelings of loneliness can result in deterioration of health and well-being, and a shorter lifespan.
Through connecting isolated older people with volunteers, they will build their confidence, reduce isolation and as a result improve their health. In turn the volunteers will also have an opportunity to contribute their skills and experience to assist our ageing population.
Loneliness - an individual’s personal, subjective sense of lacking desired affection, closeness, and social interaction with others. Although loneliness has a social aspect, it is also defined by an individual’s subjective emotional state. Loneliness is more dependent on the quality than the number of relationships.
Social isolation - a lack of contact with family or friends, community involvement, or access to services.
Crossroads In Your Prime
We primarily provide a befriending service, where our volunteers visit isolated older people once a week. This service is invaluable and we are so grateful for our volunteers who visit.
Volunteers are matched with someone in their local area. All we ask of our volunteers is to visit someone for an hour, once a week. We want the older people we support to forge genuine friendships with volunteers and many do, so they meet up for longer periods or more regularly. Just tell us when you would be available and we can go through the options with you.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender in your area or would like more information, please click here and fill in our Volunteer Registration Form or call our office on: 028 9181 4363.
Our project also supports isolated older people through:
Our telephone service is run by our staff team and volunteers, enabling vulnerable older people to have regular chats.
This involves assisting to organise events such as coffee mornings, and visits to the theatre etc.
This will involve both older and younger people interacting and learning from each other by using their skills and experience.
The world’s population is ageing: virtually every country in the world is experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older persons in their population. Population ageing—the increasing share of older persons in the population—is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the twenty-first century, with implications for nearly all sectors of society, including labour and financial markets, the demand for goods and services, such as housing, transportation and social protection, as well as family structures and inter- generational ties.
Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 per cent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion, and by 2050, the global population of older persons is projected to more than double its size in 2015, reaching nearly 2.1 billion.
The ‘maturing’ of Northern Ireland’s society is certainly a major achievement, with people today living far longer and healthier lives than previous generations. This demographic change offers opportunities to harness the experience, expertise and creativity of a historically large number of older people.