Mobilising to reducing Loneliness in the UK

Loneliness is a difficult subject – how do we distinguish between self-reliance and independence, good for our self esteem and health, and true loneliness that negatively impacts health and well-being.  True loneliness – where someone needs more social interaction is often hidden as the person is isolated, sometimes in terms of location but more often by the restrictions to health and mobility that come with old age.

If you have always been a quiet or contained person comfortable with family and a small circle of friends it can be particularly devastating when friends are lost and perhaps family lives a distance away.  It seems unlikely that habits of a lifetime will be overturned so social circles shrink and indeed even for the outgoing person the sheer effort of getting to and from events can simply be too much.

A  campaign launched in 2011 was given some broader publicity when Minister Jeremy Hunt highlighted the impact of loneliness in the UK http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org and they are highlighting services such as that being launched by silver line to provide telephone support lines so that people can reach out for a chat and help.  No doubt they will also steer elderly callers to charities such as contact the elderly that has been working away making a difference for 50 years.

At this time of year each of us can make a bit of a difference – real contact even brief is of course best – but if you don’t know where to start maybe drop something into one of More Than Mobility’s supported charities, Contact the elderly’s coffers to help them expand and sustain their work?

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