Loneliness – My Thoughts and Some Resources
With how the world is right now, it has become more apparent how difficult it can be to be isolated. Loneliness is a growing problem. Due to COVID-19, a lot of us are spending more time at home; which is highlighting the difficulties of being housebound. Looking at this, I realised how much daily life can impact those who live alone. Particularly those who are elderly or disabled, as they may go extended periods without having anyone to talk to. I am a self-confessed introvert, but there are times where I still want someone to talk to. Humans are social creatures.
Unable to visit family
My grandma (grandmother if not from northern England) lives alone and – luckily – she lives nearby which means that we were able to include her in our support bubble. Unfortunately, we are currently having to self-isolate (as I have tested positive for Coronavirus). The result is that we have been unable to see each other. We are still in contact over the phone, but I still feel awful thinking about her being stuck in the house with no one to talk to in person.
Loneliness in the elderly
I have gotten to thinking about the people who are alone every day, which leaves me disheartened. I’m reminded of that advert from Age UK about a man who has no one to talk to. My heart breaks every time I see that advert; Additionally, this year is going to be even harder for people due to the restrictions.
I know there used to be campaigns to encourage people to reach out to elderly neighbours, but I don’t know if they are still running due to Covid restrictions. With us heading into the winter, there is the threat of bad weather. I am going to be thinking about these people even more and I hope you will join me too. Let’s work to reach out and help people. There are restrictions on visiting other houses in higher tier areas, but in tier 1 this is still possible. These people may also need help with shopping and other practical support.
It’s not just the elderly who are lonely
It is not just the elderly who are at risk of loneliness, however; there are those who are disabled or have reduced mobility, those who live alone, and those who are estranged from family. This is a problem which can affect people of any age, and in any culture. Consequently, it is something which we can – and should – all work together to overcome.
A little kindness can go a long way and, as the adage goes, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.
Take care, reach out.
P.S – Here are some resources on tackling loneliness which may be beneficial:
- NHS Loneliness in Older People – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/loneliness-in-older-people/
- BUPA Tackling Loneliness Post-Lockdown and Beyond – https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/loneliness-older-people
- UK Government’s Work on Tackling Loneliness – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/governments-work-on-tackling-loneliness