Did you know that there are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people here in the UK?
According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Why do people get lonely, particularly later in life?
- They have lost a loved one
- They live far away from their friends and family
- No longer work, and have lost the social interaction that employment gave them.
- They have health problems that make socialising difficult.
Why is loneliness a concern?
The effect of loneliness is isolation, which is strongly linked with depression and many other health problems, such as: It is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems (Age UK).
What can you do to try and stay connected to others?
- If your health problems prevent you from leaving the house, why not invite a friend or family member over for a cup of tea?
- Set up regular/weekly calls with friends and family. If you do not have friends and family to talk to, there are also some excellent helplines set up purely to support the elderly, such as The Silver Line 0800 4 70 80 90. You could also call Age UK 0800 055 6112, Friends for the Elderly 0300 332 1110.
- Start to see computers as your friend. Facebook, Skype and FaceTime are an excellent way to stay connected to the outside world, and see familiar faces. If you are not confident at using a computer, or social networking sites, libraries regularly hold training sessions for people to learn the basics.
- Fill your diary and write yourself out a weekly to-do list of things you want to do and want to achieve. Designate yourself a food shopping day, or a day to visit a local coffee shop or a trip to a museum.
- Why not find a carer from Seniors Helping Seniors. Our carers do what they do because they care about the elderly and thoroughly enjoy what they do. Whether you just want some good conversation, someone to help you cook your dinner, or take you out and about to enjoy the outdoors, Why not give us a call on 0203 876 0676 to find out more.
The Campaign to End Loneliness
The Campaign to End Loneliness launched in 2011, with the aim to inspire organisations to do more to tackle loneliness in older people.
The campaign strikes to ensure that anyone who wants company does not have to suffer without it. They strive to identify those who are most in need and provide a wide range of services to support them.
Find out more about The Campaign to End Loneliness, and how to get involved: https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org/about-the-campaign/