Skip to content

How To Alleviate Loneliness in Others

Do you know someone who is lonely? Are you lonely?

Why are more people lonely than ever before? With improved transport, increased use of communication tools and the easy availability of technology such as radio and television, it may seem incredible but it is indeed the case. One in ten people in Britain are experiencing loneliness to such an extent it is affecting their health and can increase the onset of health problems such as dementia, high blood pressure and depression.

Julie Condren (Operations Manager), Michael Dempsey, Brid Gould (Managing Director)

What are the reasons for this? People are living for longer. More people are living on their own as society becomes wealthier.  The norm in society is now a nuclear family of parents and children rather than having the extended family within the same house.  In rural Ireland, the retired farming couple or the widowed mother-in-law tend to live in a bungalow on the farm or in a ‘granny flat’ rather than in the same house as the younger couple. People tend to move away to other cities or countries to work and it often happens that elderly adults often don’t have any relations living within 20 or 30 miles of their home. Therefore, they don’t always have children, siblings or other relations popping in for a regular call.

What can we, as members of our own communities, do to help combat loneliness?

  • Play a part in calling to see neighbours even on a weekly basis. Many people call to see neighbours at Christmas but why not do it at other times of the year too.
  • We can help neighbours to become socially connected by encouraging them to take up internet training or computer classes. Sometimes even half an hour showing them how to use skype might be all they need to have regular contact with relatives at the other side of the world.
  • Offer them a lift. Older people often prefer not to drive in the dark, finding the headlamps disorientating so it’s particularly important to offer lifts during the winter months when it gets dark so early.  If you attend something such as a whist game or a book club meeting on a weekly or monthly basis, invite an elderly neighbour along.
  • Daycare centres offer elderly people a warm and inviting welcome, where they receive a hot dinner and can chat to many like-minded people.
  • Call in for a chat on a regular basis, even if it is just a case of dropping in with a copy of the newspaper and chatting about the main headlines. Try not to call in when their favourite television programmes are on though!
  • Invite one or two of your neighbours over for a family dinner or afternoon tea.

Remember – if you are calling to see an elderly person once a week, you will get a huge amount from it too. You’ll be able to have copious cups of tea (don’t forget to bring some cake) and you’ll hear lots of entertaining stories, many from long ago.

Many of our Comfort Keepers Home Carers offer a companionship service as well as providing home help and personal care. When family live far away, having a caring and compassionate person visit can make the world of difference. Contact us if you would like to find out more either in terms of booking a carer for a relative or becoming a home carer yourself.

Want to find out more about what care services suit your needs best?

Book A Consultation Now
Join Our Newsletter