Practice hosts Sunday tea parties to tackle loneliness in elderly

A Liverpool practice has become the first in the country to join a charitable scheme to offer tea parties for isolated and lonely older people living locally.

Storrsdale Medical Practice now offers tea afternoons for older people once a month (Photo: Gwen Lightfoot/Contact the Elderly)
Storrsdale Medical Practice now offers tea afternoons for older people once a month (Photo: Gwen Lightfoot/Contact the Elderly)

Storrsdale Medical Practice has signed up with national charity Contact the Elderly to offer the free events for local residents aged over 75 in the area.

Staff and patients at the practice have chipped in to provide transport for older people who live locally to visit the practice on Sunday afternoons once a month for tea, cake and a chat.

Storrsdale practice manager Deepa Gnanasundaram said: 'I still can’t overcome the joy of the Storrsdale friends group on the 27 July 2014. It was such a heartfelt time for me, to see such happy smiles around the table in the practice, where we handle serious patients queries all the time.'

Above: local residents chat with volunteers at the practice (Photo: Gwen Lightfoot/Contact the Elderly)

Mary Rance, chief executive officer for Contact the Elderly, said: 'We’re really excited to launch the first Contact the Elderly group in a medical practice. Often GPs are the only people to see extremely isolated older people, so it’s fantastic for them to now have a tried and tested option to offer patients.

'The problem of social isolation amongst older people is getting worse with an ageing population, and we know from our recent research that human contact is the solution, with 80% of our older guests feeling happier as a result of joining a group.'

The charity hopes other medical practices across the UK will be inspired to launch similar groups under the scheme.

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