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Support for older people in Edinburgh

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As we get older, things can become more difficult. Whether it’s getting out as often, doing things around the house or staying active. If you or a loved one needs help to stay socially or physically active or needs help around the home, take a look at some of the organisations that might be able to help you in Edinburgh.  

Social activities  
Befriending with Vintage Vibes  
This Edinburgh based organisation aims to end loneliness for those who are over 60 (or in Vintage Vibes language VIPs) by creating lasting companionships and support personalised to an individual’s needs. Friendly volunteers are matched with a VIP and provide companionship, reliable support and the opportunity to be more socially connected. 

The service costs £3 per visit or outing to help with the cost of running the organisation. Find out more on the Vintage Vibes website.  

Edinburgh Memories with Big Hearts  
If you or your loved one enjoys history, loves Edinburgh and wants to reminisce about the past, this is the group for you. Using memorabilia, such as films, music and photographs, this group discuss Edinburgh’s rich history and share memories from the past. It’s open to people aged 65+ and meets twice a month: first Tuesday of every month (1:45 pm – 3:15 pm) and third Tuesday of every month (1:45 pm – 3:15 pm). The group is free to attend, more information can be found on their website.   

Football Memories with Big Hearts 
Hearts fan? Then this could be the one for you! Their Memories group is for older people who have an interest in football, talking about teams and matches from the past and working with images and memorabilia to stimulate memories and improve the wellbeing of those attending. It’s a great social activity, they currently run groups twice a month in the Hearts Museum, one on the second Tuesday of every month (1:45 pm – 3:15 pm) and one on the last Tuesday of every month (1:45 pm – 3:15 pm). The sessions are free and there’s an added bonus of a pie and a hot drink! Find out more.  

Re-engage UK (formally Contact the Elderly)  
This national charity is dedicated to tackling isolation and loneliness among older people in the UK by providing free monthly tea parties for small groups of older people aged 75+. The tea parties are run by a network of volunteers and offer older people vital and regular friendship once a month. There is a range of groups that meet once a month in Edinburgh and anyone can make a referral.  

Volunteers collect their guest from their home and take them to a volunteer hosts house where they enjoy a range of cakes, home bakes and, of course, a cup of tea (or coffee) with other diners and volunteers. What better way to spend a Sunday? Find out more.  

MealMakers 
Fancy some mealtime company? MealMakers matches older isolated people with a volunteer cook in their community and is run by the national charity FoodTrain Scotland. Diners and cooks arrange how often they’d like to meet, making friendships over a nutritious meal and helping to reduce isolation and loneliness. Find out more about the programme.   

Sport & Physical Activity  
As we get older it’s important to stay active as there are many benefits; it’s good for your mental and physical health, can help you stay energetic and independent and is a great opportunity to meet new people. Take a look at some of these activities available locally.  

Ageing Well, Edinburgh Leisure  
If you or loved one is looking to stay active in older age, then make sure you check out Edinburgh Leisure’s Ageing Well Programme. From walking groups to new age curling – there’s sure to be something for everyone! It’s not just physical activity there’s singing groups, photography groups and allotment activities too. Find out more.  

Cycling without age 
Cycling without age is a movement that started in Copenhagen with the aim of helping older people to get back on their bikes. The founder, Ole Kassow, looked for a vehicle that would support the limited mobility of older people and found the trishaw. Now there are groups across the globe including three in Edinburgh (The Meadows, North Edinburgh and Musselburgh). Find out more on their website or Facebook page

Help around the house 
Home adaptions with Care & Repair Edinburgh  
If you or your loved one is needing adaptions around the home take a look at Care & Repair Edinburgh who offer a range of practical services to help people repair, improve or adapt their homes. Whether it’s help with DIY tasks, installation of key safes or home adaptions. Find out more about the different services on offer on their website. The cost of their services range in price, however, their handyperson service is free. 

Garden Aid 
Need help to keep on top of your garden? Garden Aid is offered by Edinburgh Council for those who need support. They offer a three weekly grass cutting service from March to October as well as hedge trimming twice a year. More information about the service and eligibility criteria is on the council website. Please note that applications are open until 31st January each year, applications after this date are not considered until the following year. 

Assisted Bin Collections  
Did you know the council offer an assisted bin collection? If you or your loved one isn’t able to put the bins out, you can request assistance via the council website
 
Digital Skills  
If you or your loved one is looking to develop their digital skills, there are a range of services on offer across the city that help teach new skills as well as provide a space to meet new people. Take a look at what’s available locally:   

  • Ace IT - they have regular drop-ins where people (aged 50 or over) can get one to one advice and support on using any digital device. Users need to book a slot and are asked to make a donation to the organisation (suggested minimum donation of £5 per one hour session).  
  • Scottish Seniors Computer Clubs - are a range of clubs across Edinburgh, West Lothian, East Lothian and Falkirk. The clubs are open to those aged over 50 to learn more about how to use digital devices. 
  • Tap Into IT run four computer clubs in Edinburgh year-round in Marchmont, Colinton Road, Gillespie Crescent and St Alban’s Road. Each session is weekly, lasts two hours and finishes with a cup of tea and a chat. It’s a friendly space to learn and develop skills.
Do you have any suggestions or groups that you would recommend? Let us know by commenting below or share your experience of one of the above groups or activities to help others understand what to expect.  

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