Melton’s Gloucester House is helping to combat loneliness

Some of the visitors and staff at an Age UK session at Gloucester House, Melton PHOTO: Supplied
Some of the visitors and staff at an Age UK session at Gloucester House, Melton PHOTO: Supplied
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Melton’s Gloucester House has been providing the elderly with wellbeing services since 1986, when it was officially opened by the Duchess of Gloucester.

Now the centre which is supported by independent local charity Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland, has up to 400 people taking advantage of this vital community resource.

Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland help the over 50’s with independent living in the community, financial concerns and difficulties, frailty, physical disabilities, mental health challenges, learning needs social isolation and loneliness.

Gloucester House is providing outreach activities which allow staff to engage with those who need help in the most appropriate location for them, thus tackling some of the issues elderly people have, particularly social isolation and loneliness.

Activities on offer include:

Wellbeing groups

Support for older people with mental health challenges including dementia and physical frailty. They give older people the opportunity to get out and spend time with peers and to enjoy social situations. They also provide much needed respite for carers.

Falls awareness classes

Classes are run to improve the confidence of older people after a fall and to give them the skills and knowledge to avoid falls in the future. These are run by Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland staff alongside occupational therapists.

Mental health support

Drop-in sessions are run to provide social interaction with others affected by mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder as well as support and information from staff.

Information and advice clinics

Drop in sessions are run to help people access information and advice on matters which affect their quality of life such as benefit checks and entitlements.

Dementia respite care

Up to eight hours per week of respite care in individual’s homes helps relieve stress and demands on family members and helps avoid social isolation.

Social activities and evening events

The range of classes run at Gloucester House include Tai Chi, keep fit, new age curling and sequence dancing.

Hair dressing and beauticians

Affordable services in an accessible building for the individual.

Community fundraising events

These are run throughout the year and include occasions such as fetes.

A Melton resident who is no longer feeling vulnerable, and is leading an active and full life with the help of Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland is John Walker.

He said: “After having a wonderful life with my dear wife for 60 yers I realised after she passed away that I needed to find a way of meeting people and to find a way of combatting my isolation.

His advice to others who may be feeling lonely but are nervous about the first steps towards joining a new group is: “If you are willing to come along to Gloucester House to have a look and take time to enjoy talking and listening to people there, you can make yourself a wonderful life.”

l All are welcome at Gloucester House which is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.