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If you are feeling lonely, then Age UK Isle of Wight are here.

Feeling lonely in later life can happen to us all. Loneliness can ave different causes for each and every one of us.

You may be lonely for a number of reasons:

  • perhaps you’ve recently lost a loved one
  • have health or mobility problems that make it difficult for you to go out and meet those you used to.
  • recently moved to the Island or out of your local town away from your family / friends
  • have now retired and miss those social encounters
  • are having to care for a family member and havent had time to keep up friendships
  • have lost touch with those you used to meet.

You are not alone. 

1.4 million older people in th UK feel cut off from society. It's important to know that you're not alone. Your local Age UK Isle Of Wight is here.

Over recent years Age UK has gained a greater understanding of the impact loneliness has on our health.

We now know that the effect of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, hypertension, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, psychological stress and mental health problems.

If you are lonely it is important to take steps to try and make new connections. We can help you with this.

How to deal with loneliness

Everyone can feel lonely, and you don't necessarily need a reason to feel this way. Sometimes it might even just pass. But, maybe there is a reason, or maybe it's just not passing this time. However it features in your life, and however it makes you feel, there are things you can do to feel less lonely.

Knowing what can affect your mental wellbeing might help you understand the feelings you’re experiencing and help you think about the steps you can take to look after yourself. This is the best place to start. Although it’s hard, and sometimes there might not even be a reason, it’s a good idea to think about what is making you lonely. It might help you try and find a way of feeling better. 

Although it might not feel that way, if you're feeling lonely, remember you're not alone. That feeling of loneliness can hit us at any time in life, often unexpectedly, even if it seems as though we're surrounded by friends and family. Whatever might be making you feel lonely, we are here to help.

What can cause loneliness?

There are different reasons why you might be feeling lonely – perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, moved away from friends and family, lost the social contact and enjoyment you used to get from work, or have health problems that make it difficult for you to go out and do the things you enjoy. There also might not be any clear reason at all to explain how you’re feeling, and that’s fine too.

How can I find someone to speak to?

Talking to people is a great way to relive old memories and remind you of all the positive things in your life.

When you feel lonely it can be tempting to think nobody would want to hear from you. But often you'll find people do want to help. If there are people around you who you can talk to, it can be a good idea to talk about your feelings. This might seem like a difficult conversation to have, but actually talking is often the best way to start feeling better. Talking to someone you know could let them try and help you, while they may not necessarily have the answer it can make you feel listened to and often outside perspectives can really help.

Have a chat with a volunteer

Or you could take advantage of services that tackle loneliness. If you like having a chat there are a number of services that could match you with someone to talk to, including:

  • Our Good Neighbour scheme offer a befriending service, It can be a great way to make a local connection with someone new. 
  • Silverline also offers weekly calls to people age 55 and over. This is a free service for people looking to have a chat with a friendly and supportive volunteer.

Rose and Sarah's story

Friends Rose and Sarah share their experience with the Age UK Befriending programme. Rose wanted a friend and Sarah wanted to volunteer.

What should I do if I'm worried about my mental health?

Loneliness can have a significant impact on our mental wellbeing. Being lonely can often lead to you feeling worried, low, out of sorts, or just struggling to work up the energy to do things you used to. These are signs you're not feeling as well as you could be. Talking is often the best way to start feeling better. That could be with a family member, your doctor or nurse – whoever you feel comfortable with.

If you speak to your doctor or nurse, they might be able to suggest things you can do to help. Understandably, the idea of talking to someone can be daunting for some, and for others it’s just not in their nature to talk about their feelings. But ignoring it doesn’t make it go away, it’s likely to only make it worse in the long-term. Maybe now is the time to take that first step to helping yourself feel better.

For more information on looking after your mental health see our page Your mind matters


Take the first steps............

Contact us today to see what services we offer that could help you.