YEP Says, August 26: Mums who need a neighbourly helping hand

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IT is an indication of the growing awareness of loneliness as a serious blight on society that doctors, and other agencies for that matter, have a far greater understanding about the plight of older people who live in isolation – and how such isolation can impact on their mentaland physica health.

IT is an indication of the growing awareness of loneliness as a serious blight on society that doctors, and other agencies for that matter, have a far greater understanding about the plight of older people who live in isolation – and how such isolation can impact on their mentaland physica health.

Yet it would be wrong to stereotype the lonely as just the elderly, who have suffered a bereavement or perhaps can no longer count on the support of their family because their children and grandchildren have moved many miles away and have hectic lives of their own to lead.

As a new study reveals, changing lifestyles means that loneliness can afflict all sections of society – including the mothers of new-born babies. Unlike previous generations, they are no longer assurance of the practical support of grandparents – and relatives – because the family circle has become more fragmented. It is not helped by a tendency for some to communicate solely via social media rather than attending, for example, mother and baby groups to share experiences and problems.

It would be wrong to apportion blame. This is down to a combination of circumstances that has led to the gradual erosion of neighbourliness, a once cherished value now superseded by a growing number of families who lead totally independent lives. Now that Action for Children have highlighted the issue, and the support networks that are available, it is important that services are utilised. They exist for a reason, namely a desire to enable parents bring up their babies in a loving environment.

Hat’s off to young carer Lewis

Congratulations to eight- year-old Lewis Buntain, shortlisted at the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards. Lewis has been hailed ‘an absolute star’ by his disabled aunt Lizzy Georgeson.

He looks after her, helps with the housework and walks her dogs for her after she had to have surgery to amputate both her legs. Well done Lewis, whether you pick up the gong or not at the awards this autumn, you’re winner in our eyes.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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