MP Thangam pays a visit to Abbeyfield Redland

January 30 2017

Residents and team members at Abbeyfield on Redland Road, Bristol, were delighted to receive a visit from Thangam Debonnaire MP in January.

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Residents and team members at Abbeyfield on Redland Road, Bristol, were delighted to receive a visit from Thangam Debonnaire MP in January. Taking time out of her busy schedule, Thangam enjoyed coffee and cakes and talked about how she became an MP and some of her experiences in the role.

Only two days before, the Bristol West MP had given a speech on loneliness in older people, talking about subsequent health consequences and the impact of this on the healthcare system.

She focused on an Age UK report that cited results from a survey of 1,000 GP's, which suggested that 90% of older people visit their surgery because they are lonely. The report also provides evidence to suggest that loneliness can lead to serious illnesses such as depression, diabetes, stroke and dementia; which in turn, often prevent people from living healthily, with balanced diets and exercise.

In her speech Thangam said: "I pay tribute today to all the people across the country who give their time as volunteers, staff and fundraisers for charities such as Age UK nationally and locally, and in Bristol, for Bristol Ageing Better, which does so much to combat loneliness in older people."

Bristol Ageing Better provides support for older people in Bristol, as do other groups and charities such as Bristol Older People's Forum, LinkAge Bristol; Age UK Bristol; and WellAware. The Abbeyfield Society itself was set up in the 1950's to alleviate loneliness among older people, and establish communities to provide support and companionship. 

Frances Stretton, Abbeyfield Bristol & Keynsham’s Chief Executive, said: “It's a subject very close to our hearts and we are excited that such a prominent Bristol MP is taking this cause under her wing. We are looking forward to following Ms Debonnaire's campaign and wish her every success.”