Prince Charles yesterday joined Strictly Come Dancing's former Head Judge, Len Goodman, to address the important issue of increased loneliness amongst the elderly.
As patron of charity Age UK, the Prince of Wales hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace in aid of the charity, to celebrate later life, and discuss the importance of tackling loneliness in older generations.
Former Strictly star Len was also in attendance, as an ambassador of Age UK. The event as also held in honour of Prince Charles’ 70th birthday celebrations – although the royal doesn’t actually reach his seventh decade until 14th November!
During the event, Len Goodman, 74, shared his thoughts on loneliness in the elderly – admitting he is lucky to have family around him.
He said, “Older people can be isolated and don’t see anyone and we’re trying to make the public aware that it’s not a bit job to pop two doors along and make sure they’re okay.
“I’m fortunate to have a son and a loving wife, but I can well imagine if I didn’t have that how lonely you can get.”
Veteran actress and former fellow Strictly star Lesley Joseph, 72, was also at the royal event, and discussed her own experience of elderly isolation.
She admitted, “My mother was in a care home and I saw a lot of people in there who never got a visitor and it really broke my heart, that anyone could get to the later part of their lives and have nobody.
“It can be easily overcome. If you know somebody on your street, offer to do shopping or go for a coffee.”
The event, which was also held to ‘celebrate later life’, also honoured older inspirational leaders, including actor Charles Dance and Dame Penelope Wilton.
According to Age UK, 3.6 million older people in the UK live alone, and 1.9 million people feel ‘invisible or ignored’.
The charity suggests taking advantage of services that can help the elderly to tackle loneliness, such as joining a friendship group or sign up to volunteering.
If you want to help to lonely older people in the UK, you can also become a ‘befriender’ with the charity, and volunteer to visit or telephone with an older person.
After a busy week of engagements, Prince Charles will join tomorrow join his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, and their wives Catherine and Meghan, for the Queen’s annual Trooping the Colour ceremony.
The family will be out in force on the Buckingham Palace balcony, to celebrate the monarch’s 92nd birthday.