Ultimate Blog Challenge
I’ve done it before and I have signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge again. And I am thrilled to do it again – maybe it is the stimulus that I need at this time of the year. Yes, I already have too much in my diary, but I am going to be VERY organised.
I am going to focus on Housing – as several projects are close to me. I still experience housing instability and have done for several years and am involved in several groups trying to make a difference for the thousands of senior women who need support.
Older Women’s Issues
Over the period of the Blog Challenge I am going to post on some “older women’s issues” – a field in which I am currently very active. I am a member of the Older Women’s Network Queensland, working mainly in the “housing stress” cohort.
My own story of a marriage breakup, no home and little money is well documented in many places, and though I am not yet in affordable, suitable, safe housing, I am working with a number of organisations to make positive changes.
Loneliness – one of the World’s Big Issues
A few years ago, in the United Kingdom, a Minister for Loneliness was created.
“The Prime Minister confirmed all GPs in England will be able to refer patients experiencing loneliness to community activities and voluntary services by 2023.
Three quarters of GPs surveyed have said they are seeing between one and five people a day suffering with loneliness, which is linked to a range of damaging health impacts, like heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month.” From the UK Gov website.
In Australia, many people are alone and lonely, but I will focus on senior ladies, the cohort for which I am more familiar.
Housing issues and Loneliness are connected. So many women are on their own. Many are widowed, (women tend to live longer than men, so often their husband/partners depart this world first), never married or divorced. In the older sector, so many of these women relied on their husband/spouse for income/money management, major decision making, house management and maintenance, and don’t manage easily on their own. As well, women are often discrim9inated against or taken advantage of, due to the lack of knowledge is housing maintenance, motor vehicles and more.
Women live in housing complexes without nearby friends, or with mobility issues that influence their activities, financial issues, and often are intimidated by the men who live nearby. Often that is the way they try to manage their own loneliness!
There is a raft of support services, but it is not always easy to identify them or get the services one requires. Covid-19 has made it more difficult to access services due to the restrictions, and the fact that many volunteers are in the senior cohort and at more risk of getting the disease. There are currently fewer volunteers.
As well, in Australia, many local magazines and newspapers ceased, making it more difficult to source appropriate information.
Many seniors do not have a cell-phone, may have a landline, some do not have a television and many do not have computers – again reducing access to appropriate information.
My Focus for the Challenge
So my focus for this Blogging Challenge will be the above – though I hope I am not going to sound like a whinger, but I am very keen for Older People, not just women, to be treated with more dignity and respect. We need to do more for this cohort!
Dear Reader, have you any ideas or issues?