DWMH doctor tackles loneliness this Christmas

Dudley and Walsall doctor tackles loneliness this Christmas

A doctor from Dudley and Walsall Mental Health has set up a Christmas gift campaign to support older people who face isolation at Christmas time.

The Christmas gift campaign, supported by a team of volunteers, organises gifts to be hand-delivered to residents in local care homes and nursing homes who have little or no family.

Dr Rashda Tabassum, who is an old age psychiatrist, came up with the idea as part of her role when visiting patients in their home to assess their mental health. Dr Tabassum witnessed how lonely people can become as they grow older and wanted to tackle this loneliness.

According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.

Dr Rashda Tabassum has also created a how-to guide for people living in other areas who may want to get involved with the campaign as she would like it to grow and be implemented nationally. The how-to guide can be found on the Trust’s website here: http://www.dwmh.nhs.uk/find-a-service/olderadult/

“The response to this appeal so far has been fantastic. We have been able to deliver lots of gift bags to elderly people who may otherwise receive nothing at Christmas.

“I really hope this campaign continues to grow so that we can tackle loneliness and help older people across the country,” said Dr Rashda Tabassum.