The Vier het Leven Foundation has identified increasing loneliness among the elderly


REGION – For the participants of Vier het Leven, the loss of the cultural activities that the foundation has been organizing for the elderly for 15 years and more than 10 years in Gelderland, is an enormous loss. Due to the corona measures, many participants are at home.

To alleviate the lack of activities, volunteers from Vier het Leven regularly call older people who appreciate this. Now that the measures are increasing again, older people indicate that they feel increasingly lonely.

Also in the ‘Week against Loneliness’ from 1 to 8 October, volunteers try to call as many elderly people in their own region as possible for a pleasant chat and a listening ear.

Together with 2,000 volunteers, the Vier het Leven Foundation ensures that elderly people from all over the country can enjoy theater performances, films, concerts and museums. Now that this is not possible for the time being, Vier het Leven is researching and developing alternatives in addition to calling.

“The health of our guests, with an average age of 84 years, is of course paramount”, says director Annerieke Vonk, initiator and director of Vier het Leven.

“When going out was no longer possible, we immediately set to work to keep in touch with our participants. We have set up call teams to provide a listening ear. Many guests find it difficult that they cannot go out with us and are isolated at home. A regular chat over the phone with our volunteers is greatly appreciated ”.

Vier het Leven also tries to stay in contact with the elderly online as much as possible and regularly shares current cultural tips via a special newsletter, social media and the website. The responses of the participants show that they greatly appreciate this: “If you are housebound this is a great way to cheer up staying in” and “This is good for a person in this difficult time, it is a true therapy!”

A few months ago, singer Willeke Alberti joined the call teams. She regularly calls a number of guests of Vier het Leven to encourage them: “My mother has often been out to the theater with volunteers from Vier het Leven and enjoyed it immensely. So I have been very fond of Celebrating Life for years ”. In an extensive interview she talks about her experience as a call volunteer and emphasizes this ‘Week against Loneliness’ how important it is to make contact. This can be done very simply by asking the question “How are you?”

The entire interview with Willeke Alberti can be read on the website of Celebrate Life:

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