Visiting the elderly in hospital during Christmas

29th Jan 2016
Visiting the elderly in hospital during Christmas

Kosar Pedram

When I think about the elderly, the following quote from our Prophet Muhammad (p) comes to my mind “He isn’t of us who isn’t kind to our youngsters, and shows no respect to our elders…” This is a powerful message which if applied helps us in taking steps towards building a harmonious society.

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On December 28 volunteers visited the Care of the Elderly ward and Stroke Unit at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow

Respect for elders can be expressed in many different forms. This could include attentively listening to their advice, being kind and polite, ignoring their harshness and cherishing their presence and attending to their physical and spiritual needs.

Research conducted by Age UK has revealed that nearly 400,000 people aged 65 plus in the UK are worried about being alone during Christmas. Loneliness can be a real problem once you become an elderly, in particular if you are sick and in hospital.

Therefore on December 28 we and some staff from Northwick Park and Moorfields Eye Hospital volunteered to visit the Care of the Elderly ward and Stroke Unit at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow. Having worked in hospitals for five years, I have seen how lonely Christmas can be for patients who are too frail to go home or have nobody to visit them. Loneliness can really affect them at this time of year especially being in hospital, which is traditionally spent with family and loved ones.

Gifts generously donated by people were presented to patients across two wards. Niloofar Shahrbaf, a local resident of Brent added to the cheer by baking home baked cupcakes for patients and staff.

The day was a huge success in bringing happiness to staff, patients and their relatives. Veronica, carer of one of the patients expressed her gratitude and said, “It makes a huge difference for patients to see someone cares.” Volunteers covered the wards for two hours and their efforts felt rewarded with smiles and gratitude expressed by patients.

Following this year’s success, the team of volunteers look forward to visiting the elderly every Christmas, not just at Northwick Park Hospital but other local hospitals too.

Sometimes we want to travel far to reach out to those in need. It’s important to remember we have people at our own door steps in desperate need of love and attention. Let’s make it our new year’s resolution to help those less fortunate than us in our local communities. It could be doing the shopping for our elderly neighbour, visiting the sick in our local hospital or acting as a translator for a new migrant. Whatever small yet significant step needed to bring us closer to building a loving community.

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