Older age can be lonely. Circumstances may have changed and your elderly relative may be particularly vulnerable after a partner or close friend has passed away, or family have had to move to another area.
Fortunately, across Berkshire, there are a number of befriending schemes in place to make sure no resident feels isolated.
Befriending takes different forms, such as speaking over the telephone, home visits and support groups. As well as improving the emotional wellbeing of your elderly relative, befriending can bring peace of mind for you, knowing that someone is checking in and offering companionship.
This guide will outline what is available across Berkshire. As well as befriending services, there are other ways for the elderly to avoid loneliness. You may want to take a look at lunch clubs in Berkshire and day care centres in Berkshire. For help getting out and about to meet others, you may be interested in community transport schemes in Berkshire.
Find Local Befriending Services Across Berkshire
Age UK Berkshire Befriending
Age UK Berkshire provide a free befriending service in Reading, Bracknell and West Berkshire. A team of dedicated and caring volunteers visit clients in their own homes or speak to them over the telephone. This friendly conversation gives engagement and companionship, breaking the cycle of loneliness.
Telephone befriending is available to anyone living in the whole Berkshire area. This can work well for anyone who simply wants to talk to someone on a regular basis. For those with sensory issues or dementia, home visits are recommended.
Age UK Reading Befriending
Age UK Reading match volunteer befrienders with older people in the community. They visit or call them on a regular basis to provide companionship. This friendly conversation gives engagement and companionship, breaking the cycle of loneliness. All volunteers are DBS checked.
Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East Befriending Plus
Age Concern put their Befriending Plus Service in place to combat loneliness within the elderly community. This is offered via regular telephone calls as well as home visits. The aim is to maintain weekly contact with those who are unable to go out and feel vulnerable and alone. Clients are ‘buddied’ with a volunteer who shares similar interests
Clients will receive individual face-to-face assessments at home to identify their needs from a social perspective and a tailored programme of support can be agreed. They will also signpost you to other services as appropriate, such as their Home Help services, Social Care, Transport, and healthcare.
For more details, please use the contact details listed below.
Re-Engage Calls Companion Service
Re-Engage is a national charity devoted to combating loneliness among the over 75s. Re-Engage run a Calls Companion service that connects volunteers with elderly people based on common interests. A mutually agreed time is arranged for regular friendly and informal chats. You can apply by filling out this online form.