Tackling loneliness and isolation
Spare Chair Sunday at Prior Bank care home case study
Isolation and loneliness are serious issues that can affect a person’s wellbeing, with older people being particularly susceptible. This can become especially acute during the colder winter months, when bad weather may cause people to leave their homes less frequently.
Jodi Harris, the Home Manager at Prior Bank care home in Sheffield, was conscious that there may be older people living in the community near Prior Bank experiencing these challenges. She decided to invite local older people, who would otherwise be on their own, into Prior Bank for Sunday lunch.
Jodi explains; “Sunday lunch is a special meal for a lot of people, a time when they come together with friends and family. We wanted to extend the invitation to our older neighbours so they could enjoy a fresh, warm, home-cooked meal and friendly company with us. We called our offer of lunch Spare Chair Sunday.
“We spoke to the District Nurses visiting Prior Bank and asked them to refer anyone living nearby that they thought would benefit from Sunday lunch with us. We’ve had a number of our neighbours take up our offer and our residents have really enjoyed their company.
“The initiative has been so successful that we have also extended the offer for people to join us on Friday’s for freshly-cooked Fish and Chips and also on special Sundays such as Easter and Mothering Sunday.”
These informal opportunities for people to spend time socialising with others in the home have had a number of positive outcomes. Some of the visitors attending Sunday lunch have since become residents of the home, including a local couple who have moved in together. One lady has become a regular volunteer and another, who previously worked at Prior Bank, has started visiting the home once a week to hold reminiscence sessions with the residents.
Jodi added; “It’s wonderful that we can make a difference to local older people in our community.”
For more information about Spare Chair Sunday at Prior Bank please contact the home on 0800 0854303.