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Christian charity encouraging UK Church to pray for older people amidst the crisis with the social care sector

by Alex Collett
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A Christian charity is encouraging the UK Church to pray for older people as the social care sector crisis continues.

Pilgrims’ Friend Society is holding a series of events looking at friendship, dementia and loneliness in older age.

With warnings of a fundemental crisis within the social care sector — alongside an increasing aging population over the next decade — the charity is responding by bringing together Christian charities and experts to practically equip Christians and churches to be part of the solution.  

Pilgrims’ Friend Society CEO Stephen Hammersley told Premier about the situation that social care stands in right now: “The crisis in social care, really can be boiled down to the fact that there aren't enough people like that young carer, to fulfil those roles.

“It's a demanding role and it's a demanding role that the market doesn't value and the pay is relatively low.

“That's largely because the amount of money that the government builds into the system to allow these people to be paid - what I think is the kind of wage they should be paid- isn't there.

“So we've got a crisis of resourcing and that's behind nearly all of the difficulties we find in in Adult Social Care at this precise moment in time.”

Hammersley praised of their carer’s at one of their residential care homes called Kara: “To do the job that she does, to look after people, some of whom will be living with dementia to understand where people living with dementia are, to be able to get alongside and to live with and to encourage somebody living with dementia or other forms of cognitive impairment, is an immensely skilled and an immensely important role.

Hammersley also suggested what we can be praying for this week ahead: “Let's pray that friendships will develop between people in younger and in older life so that the younger can be encouraged.

“Specifically, let's pray for people living with dementia, friendships are so important for people living with dementia, it's a single thing that will slow the onset of dementia more than any other thing is a friendship or social relationships.

“Finally, we want to encourage Christian people to understand, just how much churches and individuals can do to reach out to people who are lonely.

“So maybe we could each think of people in our streets and in our roads, and pray for those people. Pray for ourselves, actually, because we could be the answer to the prayer to reach out with the good news of friendship, and the good news of the gospel.”

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