'I don't like begging for friends'


Mark kravetz, 88, from North Finchley, has lived by himself since he was widowed 20 years ago.

Health problems have meant he cannot get around as much as he used to, and he suffers feelings of loneliness as a result.

"I've always been a sociable guy. but my health got worse - I've got emphysema and I can't walk far - and now I feel very isolated," he said.

"We had a wonderful life but my wife passed away early and I was on my own. I just carried on with bridge and seeing friends. But I'm unable to do that any more.

"When you lose a spouse it can be hard and things become lonely because you lose the person you did things with.

"I practically lost all the people I know and I don't like the idea of crawling around begging for friends.

"Life is lonely and there is nothing I can do about it."

Mark contacted the social-work team at Jewish Care to see how they could help and they organised a volunteer who visits him once a week.

He said: "I'm very independent. I can't see myself living with a carer. But the visit makes a difference."

He also attends the Jewish Care tea parties which provide a place for the elderly to meet friends. He gets driven there and back by volunteers.

"I wouldn't see anyone without the tea parties. People are often sick and you don't see them other than at Jewish Care because they are the same as you -they can't really get around.

"I'm bowled over when I'm the only man there, but I'm a chatterbox so I try to go to as many as possible.

"Without them, my life would be going to the supermarket and back - I'd probably give up.

"I have six grandchildren - they live close but they have their own lives, and I want to have my own."

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive