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Say “hello” and support the International Day of Older Persons

To mark the 2016 United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) on Saturday 1st October 2016 we are encouraging you to say hello.

 

The International Day is a platform for people across the world to take a stand against ageism. In Avon and Somerset we are asking our communities to recognise the importance of older people an dhow a simple "hello" could make a big difference.

In the UK, one in 12 will be over 80 years old by 2039 and in Avon and Somerset the population growth for the 75 year old age group is projected to increase by 40% by 2025.

Over half (51%) of people aged 75 and over live alone. We can all make a difference by just saying hello and keeping an eye on people in our community. Not only will it reduce loneliness but it can reduce the likelihood of people becoming victims of crime.

Older people can be vulnerable to cons and fraud, doorstep crime, distraction burglary and online/telephone scams. But if they have someone nearby they can trust they might be more likely to question something, perhaps saving themselves from a financial con.

Can you help say “hello”?

Every year in Portishead, one of our local PCSOs organises a Christmas Dinner for older people in Portishead. Do you have a similar event or activity in your area? Is there a weekly bridge club or monthly tea dance in your village hall? We want to raise awareness of events in our area so that others can join in.

Let us share your stories; perhaps you or a family member has been given a new lease of life thanks to a community group?  Perhaps you helped an isolated neighbour? We would love to hear your “start with hello” stories.

You can email these to hello@avonandsomerset.police.uk

5 ideas that start with “Hello”

1. Smile and chat to your neighbour

2. Help at an event at your child's school

3. Don’t just pack your food shopping in silence, talk to the cashier

4. Take part in an event in your community

5. Look up from your phone!

The value of reaching out is just as valuable to you as the person you reach out to.