Working with Older People
As over 95% of the older people who currently participate in KCB’s activities and receive services live on their own, without the Older People’s Project, many would be socially isolated and excluded from community life.
Camden’s strategy, ‘Mental Health Care for Older People’ (Sept. 2008) highlights that, given the high levels of mental health needs in the borough, over 3,000 older people are likely to experience depression or anxiety. The strategy also drew attention to the fact that there were insufficient services available for older people in the borough and that depression in older people can be triggered through the loss of a life partner or life-long friends. As highlighted earlier almost all of KCB’s older service users live alone and are far more likely to suffer from common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.
The Older People’s Project therefore encourages older people to be as independent as they can for as long as they can, but also offers advice, support and access to services as their circumstances change and questions arise regarding their future. As the Project’s activities becomes a regular feature in their life, any changes to their health and ability to manage can be spotted quickly and responded to in a more efficient way than if left unchecked. With more than half of our clients being disabled and over 60% being 80 years and older, Marchmont Community Centre provides an informal setting which is safe and welcoming.
Lunch Club: 36 older people regularly attend our Lunch Club which encourages the formation of informal networks of friends and provides a wide variety of opportunities to socialise and participate in group activities. Yurie Suryadi , our cook, has introduced the older people to a wider variety of cuisines, while still maintaining a core selection of “traditional old favourites”. For many of the older people that attend the Lunch Club this is probably their only hot meal of the day and they are guaranteed good, home cooking as we provide nutritious, high-quality meals working towards their “five-a-day”.
Bridge and Bingo: 27 older people regularly attend the 2 bingo sessions which has been proved to keep older people mentally alert.
Pilates and Gentle Exercise Classes: 15 older people regularly attend the Pilates and Gentle Exercise Classes which has helped with their balance and helps prevent falls. These classes have been run by Westminster/Kingsway College for the past 8 years.
Qi Gong: 30 older people are regularly attending Qi Gong which is weekly by Austin Goh. The older people have said saying that since they have joined in the class they have noticed a huge improvement in their physical and mental well-being.
Holiday: In 2012 we took 23 vulnerable elderly people to Norfolk for a 7-night all inclusive subsidised holiday. The older people have commented that going on holiday with KCB can lead to new friendships which can alleviate loneliness throughout the rest of the year. One quote from Eileen who is 80 years old said the holiday made her feel so much better physically and mentally, breathing in the fresher air and having the coach to take us to places of interest was a huge asset. We would like to thank the Alexander Stafford Charity for their donation and continued support of the Older People’s Holiday.
KCB also run the following activities for over 60s:
- Arts & Crafts
- Knitting Group
- IT Sessions
- Health Promotion Talks
- 6 Day Trips throughout the year
- Intergenerational Projects
- King’s Cross County Show
- Marchmont Street Party
Above all, we are a community centre where older people can come to join in either as volunteers or participants, make friends, help others and become part of the community in which they live.
We also believe in making the most of our resources by working with others. In the past year with have worked with:
- Camden REACH
- Camden Carers
- Camden Older People’s Outreach Team
- Camden Welfare Rights Unit
- Camden’s Community Safety Team
- King’s Cross Safer Neighbourhood Team
- WISH Referrals
- Greatcroft Resource Centre
- Holborn Community Association
- The Students at UCL
- Sir John Soanes Museum
We would like to thank all the volunteers who help run the Older People’s activities as the project would not run as efficiently without their valued help as they are the heart and soul of our organisation.
We would also like to thank all the older people that use KCB’s services and look forward to working with them again next year.