Find tips and resources to help you avoid feeling alone and isolated in the winter months, and all year round.
The colder months can be very difficult for the elderly because it is harder to get out, there is more illness going around, fall risks are higher, holidays are emotive, and most commonly, loneliness is a huge problem.
Social isolation affects a massive amount of people aged over 65, with an estimated 2.5 million people in the UK who felt they had nobody to turn to.
If you have found yourself becoming increasingly isolated and want to avoid getting lonely this winter, please take a look at these 6 tips to help you feel more connected to others:
- Consider Homecare or Live-in Care
If you feel unable to get about, or are struggling to care for yourself and you know this is having an impact on how social you are, and how happy you feel, consider having homecare or live-in care. Live-in carers can live in your home with you, helping you with day to day tasks like personal care, house care, nutrition and more. They provide company, but also the skills to help you maintain your independence. Take a look at The Live-in Care Hub for more information.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Family For Help Seeing Them
If you struggle to get to your family, don’t be afraid to tell them and get help in seeing them. They love you and won’t mind coming to you or giving you lifts wherever you need them. Even a once a month face to face meeting can make all the difference.
- Use Technology
Skype is a wonderful way to connect with others, as are messenger services and the good old fashioned phone. Use technology to stay connected and have a chat with friends and family.
- Speak To Your Neighbours
Most people want to speak to their neighbours, they just don’t know how. If they knew you needed help they would certainly want to help you. They can check in on you a couple of times a week, or even a chat over the fence might brighten your day every now and then.
- Find Social Groups To Suit You
There are lots of social groups local to you with plenty of potential friends waiting to meet you. The key is to find something you have in common. So if you like walking, join a rambling group. If you like art, find an art group with people of a similar age. That gives you something to talk about straight away.
- Help Yourself Get Around
One of the easiest ways to become isolated is to stop getting out. Winter doesn’t need to stop you getting out and about you just need to be prepared.
If you have a live-in carer they will likely suggest mobility aids to help you get about but your GP can do the same. Something as simple as a shopping trolley can help you feel more stable. You may also want to invest in some shoes with grip, and some warm thin layers of clothing so that you feel able to be outside and stay warm even if it is a touch on the cold side.
You can avoid loneliness this winter. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, and speak to people who can help you and who care about your wellbeing. You aren’t alone and you do not have to be isolated, you just have to be brave enough to reach out.