A CAMPAIGN to reach out to elderly people who are bored and feel lonely has been launched by an Isle of Wight charity.
Independent Arts, which uses the arts to tackle social isolation, has urged people to support its Eleven Hours campaign by talking to elderly neighbours and ensuring they don’t spend their days with just a ticking clock for company.
The charity’s chief executive, Kate Ball said: "After sleeping, eating, washing and dressing, it is estimated elderly people living alone and in care homes have 11 hours in the day left to fill.
"For many, this time passes very slowly and can feel endless, terribly lonely and boring.
"Through our work in care homes and the community, we aim to help people spend this time in meaningful and enjoyable creative activity."
Independent Arts has an army of almost 70 volunteers who visit elderly people, running group workshops and one-to-one sessions in art, music and movement.
Through the Eleven Hours campaign, the charity hopes to reach out to more people who are living alone.
Kate added: "I think people will be shocked to learn many elderly people spend 11 hours a day with no-one to talk to and nothing to do, often just stuck in front of the television.
"We certainly were, which is why we decided to launch this campaign and galvanise people into action.
"Just sit and watch the clock for one minute, then imagine that stretching into an hour, then 11 hours.
"Social isolation has a huge impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and can cause depression.
"We have such a large elderly population, with more dementia sufferers than anywhere else in the country, so it’s a huge issue."
She said: "We are asking people to back the campaign, by helping us raise funds and awareness.
"We need a cultural shift, where people look out for elderly people living next door, or in their street. This is a problem we can solve."