Although  everyone living on their own is not necessarily 'lonely'  and  residing within a family does not mean enjoying good  social company,  with  a steady increase in the numbers  of very old and frail individuals  loneliness  is a real problem <p>

If ill  and  in need of  physical care, of course , many turn up -  relatives , neighbours, health service people, care givers etc etc  but  that is only for  limited period ; and they all  disappear  after a few days.  It is  , of course, not  feasible  for  everyone to come and sit with an elderly housebound individual  on a regular basis - they  have ther own lives , work  and indeed other needy people. So  what is the solution?    Company and  mental stimulation are essential ingredients  of  a 'healthy' living  ;  and  'lack of these' do make people  sad depressed and  unwell  - often  with a variety of physical symptoms and  ailments. <p>

We  all are  'running'  all the time. This  is the feature of ''modern''  living -  no one talks to each other . Forget the elderly  neighbour , even  the  younger people  have stopped conversing.   when at home together - often   they all are occupied with  i-pad , mobile phone , computers and tele  ---  husband  sending sms  to the wife  '' darling is the dinner ready?''  The  art of conversation is dying!

As   for the older people, the fitter ones must get out and about, join  clubs ,  social groups, voluntary work  and  remain occupied.   Many  look after young grandchildren  , thereby  allowing their  mothers   to go to work and earn money  for  the family--  the  elderly make a huge contribution  to the country's economy!  <p>

The difficulty is mainly with the dependent and disabled housebound - their minds are working well  and   are  keen on  talking to someone.  'Befriending'  is an important service ; those with some spare time can visit an elderly  person , so long  he/she is willing, and  just talk to them.  The  senior  pupils could visit their  elderly neighbours  and  'learn  many things from them about  what this country was like in their days;  perhaps  to  teach them some computing  which would make them more independent '

Such  befriending service used to be common in  one's  own locality  - perhaps  the environment has changed quite a bit - old  neighbours are either dead or moved and the new ones may be  somewhat different - not very friendly or interested!   Encouraging our  'senior' school  pupils to visit  the old  ought to be one of the way forward  --

do think about it....