According to the Campaign To End Loneliness:
- Less than 20% of elderly people are in touch with family, friends and neighbours less than once every week and just 11% are in touch with those they know once a month
- Over 50% of those aged over 75 live on their own
- Roughly 3.9 Million have the TV as their main company
These statistics are scary but, so many people will be able to relate to them because loneliness is a real problem. Loneliness can lead to depression, intense sadness, a feeling of isolation and it can eventually impact on our physical health.
It doesn't have to be this way though. Loneliness doesn't have to happen when you live on your own. Sadly it can also happen if you are living in a residential care home for the elderly – that's one of the many reasons live in care helps older people live a fulfilling life as a live-in carer will help to combat loneliness.
Do You Need Help?
It may be that you need assistance in getting out to make new friends, or going to see friends and family. Don't be afraid to ask your home care company or home care services if they can help you with your social life, that is what they are there for. You might even want to look into a home care service if you need help at home and want the company.
Are You Afraid To Reach Out To Loved Ones?
Sometimes our self esteem can cause us to feel as though we don't deserve attention or time from loved ones. If you have those thoughts and feelings, try and chuck them away and replace them with self belief. You are worthy of love and attention and your friends and family are likely to love to spend time with you if you ask.
Use The Phone
Sometimes seeing people in person isn't possible, but phone calls from home are often possible. Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member for a chat. If you feel confident, consider learning how to use Skype or text so you can keep in touch in other ways, enjoying contact with loved ones from across the globe if you want to.
Enjoy Your Own Company
We all have to spend time on our own sometimes, even when we do live with somebody. Even when you have home care, your home care services won't necessarily always be by your side. So do learn to enjoy your own company as much as you can. Start a hobby like art or knitting, learning a new language or gardening. The more you can love your own company the less you will feel alone when you are alone because your mind will be busy.
Get Out Of The House
Sometimes feelings of isolation can become worse because we avoid leaving the house. Maybe it is easier to stay in and watch TV than to get everything ready for a trip out. But a simple walk to the shops, or to the local canal just seeing other people walking around and getting out in the fresh air will do wonders for your mood and help you feel like you have achieved something, and like you're less alone than you realise.
Remember, you are never alone and there will always be friends, family members, neighbours, organisations and carers who can help you. The organisations Age UK and Friends Of The Elderly are excellent places to look if you want to reach out to a charity. You can build a healthy and active social life whatever your age.