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The aim of Age UK Wiltshire's services is to improve the wellbeing of older people living in Wiltshire and Swindon. 

Our Wellbeing programme works within the Information and Advice service and if someone has been identified as requiring further help, the Wellbeing programme may be able to help.

What do we mean by wellbeing?

Every aspect of someone’s life can influence their state of wellbeing.  Factors that enhance a sense of wellbeing can include the tangible and the less tangible.

  • Tangible factors affecting wellbeing

    • Having enough money
    • Getting regular exercise
    • Eating a balanced diet
    • Getting sufficient sleep
    • Having a safe place to live

  • Less tangible factors affecting wellbeing

    • Having close relationships or friends
    • A sense of belonging 
    • Being able to adapt to change
    • Having a sense of purpose

An adverse change in one or more of these factors can cause low mood, anxiety or depression and they can often be indicators of underlying feelings of loneliness and isolation.  However, without addressing their issues, the older person may not be able to engage in social activity to reduce their loneliness and isolation.  

Our Information & Advice service can help with many of the tangible factors affecting a person's wellbeing through: 

  • advising on how to maximise income
  • exploring housing options
  • finding help at home
  • discussing care needs
  • providing information about social activity groups 
  • or anything and everything in between. 

Often, addressing these factors immediately improves their sense of wellbeing and nothing more is required.  Or, the older person then finds themself able to participate in some form of social activity.  

However, to address the less tangible factors the older person may require some support if they lack the confidence to deal with them alone.  In this case, we may be able to provide additional support to help them take the first steps.  

What additional support is available?

We can offer short-term volunteer support depending on what the older person wants to achieve but unfortunately we cannot offer a visiting befriending service.  The short-term support could be anything from practical tasks like finding and appointing a gardener/cleaner, putting correspondence in order to accompanying them on a bus to attend a social activity.  Anything will be considered if the task will improve their wellbeing.  

How does someone access additional support?

Additional support is only available through our Information & Advice service.  One of our advisors will have a holistic conversation to explore the issues concerning the older person and help to resolve them. 

If it is identified that additional support would benefit the older person, then we will visit them at home for a further conversation to identify what further help they are looking for.  Should it be agreed that volunteer support would be beneficial and we have volunteer availability, a simple plan of action will be agreed and a community volunteer allocated who will then help them accomplish the agreed task.  

Eligibility criteria

Volunteer support may be available to people who are: 

  • Over the age of 65
  • Willing and able to participate
  • Physically able to get in and out of community transport, a taxi or a bus if their request is to attend a social activity outside of the home
  • Interested and able to identify an activity that would improve their sense of wellbeing.  

Telephone befriending

We can also offer telephone befriending to any older person for an indefinite period.  We offer a free weekly telephone call, generally from the same volunteer, with the aim of providing social contact and signposting to other forms of support. 

 

Whether it is support from one of our visiting volunteers or a weekly telephone call from a telephone befriender, our aim is to rebuild connections, improve wellbeing and help address those feelings of loneliness and isolation so that people remain engaged and motivated to enjoy their later years. 

How to access the service

Speak to our Information & Advice team in the first instance on 0808 196 2424 or enquiries@ageukwiltshire.org.uk

What if I'm not eligible or want a befriending service?

Local Clubs, Services and Groups search page

Please see our page Local Clubs, Services and Groups search page for details of other services, including those covering Swindon, and a list of lunch clubs and social group suggestions around the county.

Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, provide volunteer support for older people struggling to manage on their own and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.