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How to overcome loneliness

Feeling lonely doesn’t necessarily mean you have no one nearby. You may be surrounded by friends and family but still feel lonely.

Do you feel lonely?

Loneliness is a deeply personal experience - unique to every individual. It can have different causes and different consequences for each and every one of us.

You may be lonely for a number of reasons:

  • 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
  • have health problems that make it difficult for you to go out and do the things you enjoy.

Sign up for a free weekly friendship call

Join our telephone befriending service, Call in Time

You're not alone

No one should have no one and yet 1.4 million older people feel cut off from society. It's important to know that you're not alone.

Why it’s important to address loneliness

Over recent years we've gained a greater understanding of the impact loneliness has on our health.

We now know that, for example, the effect of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is more damaging than obesity.

It is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems.

What you can do

There are a number of things you can do to tackle loneliness:

Take advantage of services that tackle loneliness

If you like having a chat but find it hard to get out, you could speak to like-minded folk on Gransnet.

If you have sight loss, you can join RNIB’s telephone book club and talk to up to eight people on a monthly call for a small cost.

Sign up for a free weekly friendship call

Join our telephone befriending service, Call in Time

Take steps to make new connections

You might want to consider joining a friendship group. This can be a good way to build new and meaningful friendships, and help you to regain your confidence.

Contact the Elderly hold monthly afternoon tea parties for people aged over 75 who live on their own with little or no chance to socialise.

If you're missing the social connections you used to have through work, you could also consider volunteering or perhaps going to classes through The University of the Third Age.

All Age UKs provide services to combat loneliness. If you're feeling lonely, contact us for help and support.


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Age NI Advice Service

Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call us today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.

Call freephone 0808 808 7575
Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm 

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