Independent Christmas Appeal

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The Independent Culture
IN THIS year's Independent Christmas Appeal, we ask you to support three charities helping older people. To highlight their work we will be publishing a series of articles offering insight into the opportunities, difficulties and dangers of old age.

Age Concern, founded in 1948, is probably Britain's largest voluntary organisation. Some 250,000 volunteers run 2,000 day centres, 1,400 support groups and 400 shops. Others operate hospital aftercare services, drive mini-buses or run good neighbour schemes to ensure that loneliness does not destroy elderly lives.

Abuse of elderly people has long been a hidden problem. It includes over- medication of people in residential care, the tying of residents into chairs, physical and sexual abuse, even the maltreatment of elderly people in their homes by aged partners. Since 1993, Action on Elder Abuse has brought these issues to public attention.

Finally, we seek support for St Christopher's Hospice, founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders. It offers comprehensive physical, emotional and spiritual care, free of charge, from the moment an incurable illness is diagnosed to the end of bereavement care. Each year 1,500 people benefit from such security in their final days.

All your donations will go directly to the charities, with no expenses taken for administration. Eighty per cent will go to Age Concern, the remainder divided equally between Action on Elder Abuse and St Christopher's Hospice. Details of how to give are on Page 8. Please give generously.

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