These  days more and  more surveys and studies  are being carried out  on the older section of our community  revealing many important   things.<p>

A recent survey undertaken by a national  welfare  group for older people  under the leadership of the well known television personality Esther Rantzen, has  identified   that  many  ordinary people  somewhat frail and housebound, do not have  any regular  contact with 'outside world'  -  weeks  often  pass without them meeting with any one!  The changing innercity neighbourhood with many non-english speaking residents  ,  lack of local friends,  relatives , if any, residing faraway  and  always busy , are some of the reasons.   Contacts with fellow  human beings , are important at  any age ; sadly  some of our elders cannot get out and those who  pop in  at times,usually stay for a few minutes - just for some essential 'business'  - never stop and sit to talk with them -- no conversation with   anyone at all  !!

Such a living environment is not healthy and may precipitate  mental  problems  eg depression.  Whilst  offficials do visit  at times of need , illness etc  - but they are simply too busy to just sit and chat.  Such 'chatting' is considered  time-wasteful ,    yet  this can be extremely therapeutic.  <p>

Perhaps  voluntary organisations ought to make a special effort to get some of these housebounds out to 'social' events   within the community, even for 2 or 3  times a month.  Perhaps older school children could also visit their neighbours  and spend a little tome just talking--  this could be an important civic service  helping some vulnerable in the society.  <p>

Do you have a lonely elderly neighbour ?  How often do you visit him/her just to say 'hello' and  for a brief chat??