In “On the outside looking in” Dee Mansi offers reflections on the increasing social isolation of the elderly and what the AIC (Ladies of Charity) are doing about it in Great Britain.
Some thoughts from the article On the outside looking in, 20 Sept 2014 (pdf) reprinted with permission in this format. The Tablet is an influential international Catholic weekly that has been publishing since 1840.
“Try to imagine being completely alone – every single day. Around a million older people regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion bring the Eucharist to the sick and housebound in our parishes. These are people who have been identified by their family, themselves or are known to their fellow parishioners; but it is not always easy to identify those who are lonely.
“The aim of AIC is to help those in need to be as independent as possible and to be happier as a result of their contact with us. Our aim is to help them feel valued and respected as individuals, secure in the knowledge that there is someone to whom they can turn for a helping hand or a sympathetic ear.
“While working as a headteacher in a parish served by the Vincentians, I joined a lay organisation called International Association of Charities (AIC). Originally the group was formed by St Vincent in 1617 for women; today men and women who belong to it are dedicated to continuing the mission he encouraged the laity to perform. St Vincent organised the women – the oldest lay women’s group in the Catholic Church – into groups of “charities” to help the marginalised in society. The AIC continues to help support his fundamental plan in “acting together against all forms of poverty”.
“AIC members work for social inclusion and community enrichment through practical projects with deaf people, blind people, homeless people, prisoners, housebound elderly people, the bereaved and people in debt. It is involved in lobbying on poverty-related issues, promotes Fair Trade Campaigns and supports a children’s project in Ukraine, the Daughters of Charity’s Kenyan Missions and UK home missions, which include The Passage, Out There, Depaul Trust and The Space. The aim of AIC is to help those in need.
She outlines a number of specific initiatives that address the social isolation of the the elderly. Read about them in On the outside looking in, 20 Sept 2014 (pdf)
Dee Mansi is the AIC UK president. In the United States members of the AIC are known as Ladies of Charity
She known to visitors of famvin as the inspiration and moving force behind two videos recently featured on famvin.
For more information, visit