According to a recent article in the Guardian, being lonely is a higher risk factor for heart desease and stroke than being obese and smoking.
As far as the local church is concerned, we need to encourage it to look out for lonely senior men in residential homes and in their own homes and just be there.
Simple things like fixing a light bulb, taking them to the pictures or the pub or a local football match. Get the youth club involved in this ministry… you can skip a generation. Residential homes are very feminine in culture as there are so few men there so these guys feel sidelined.
TLC is just common sense and imagination. Many old boys, like me!! just want to do stuff for their community but don’t know where to start. So the church could network. Churches need challenging to have pastoral teams for senior men. This would highlight this neglected topic.
Age is only a number… some oldies want ADVENTURE! Most men prefer action rather to chat. There is only one no no… Don`t invite them to church unless they ask…men who want to sing hymns are in a minority and join a male voice choir! Yes I am in one!!
Some churches run holiday clubs for seniors. This stimulates new friendships and activities such as furniture workshops.