Elderly & Isolated

Elderly & Isolated

The population of the UK is ageing – over the last 25 years the population aged 65 and over increased by 1.7 million people to 17% (2011), and is predicted to rise to 23% by 2035. Over the same period the number of younger people decreased from 21% to 19%. The fastest population increase has been in the number of people aged 85 and over, the “oldest old” .

In the Plymouth diocese this trend is even more marked. It is also exacerbated by the rural nature of much of the diocese. Older people are living on their own in areas without many services or access to transport. This priority aims to support the St Vincent de Paul Society to address these difficulties and strengthen their representation in parishes. It will also support and empower the charitable work of the Catholic Women’s League, the Catenians and all the help provided in parishes.

Principal Objectives

  •  To tackle poverty in all its forms through the provision of practical assistance to those in need.
  •  To help expand befriending and volunteer support to people who are sick, lonely, ageing, or suffering from addiction.
  •  To help Catholic charities and parishes access diocesan resources.
  •  To raise the profile of the World Day of the Poor on 17 November 2019.
  •  To become part of the wider secular and ecumenical network supporting vulnerable people.

Principal Activities

  •  Empower and support parish priests to take forward initiatives, especially around the World Day of the Poor.
  •  Establish a referrals mechanism for older, isolated people for example from nursing homes or GPs.
  •  Provide guidance on how parishioners might identify and look out for older or isolated people.
  •  Help people in need access sources of support.
  •  Assist the Catenians to establish a ‘Dragons Den’ fundraising project in a local secondary school each year.