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Combatting loneliness among older veterans

Loneliness is a big issue for Scotland’s veterans’ community.  Because so many of our veterans are older, they are more likely to have experienced bereavement, caring responsibilities, disabilities and long-term health conditions – all of which increase the risk of social isolation.

For many older veterans, initiatives designed to reduce loneliness among the older population generally will be appealing.  Yet others benefit more from opportunities that allow camaraderie with other veterans; reminiscing together on their lives in the military and enjoying armed forces banter.  Community organisers instigating such opportunities invariably find that bringing veterans together in a relaxed and supportive setting fosters trust and open communication.  For veterans who find it difficult talking to civilian services providers about their problems, this can make all the difference in enabling them to access any help and support they need.

Age Scotland and its Unforgotten Forces partners would like to see more such initiatives in Scotland.  We hope the stories here provide inspiration and ideas to help make that happen.

Food and friendship in South Queensferry

Find out how SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is tackling loneliness and isolation in South Queensferry.

Community support from Legion Scotland

Find out how Legion Scotland's is enabling socially isolated older veterans to enjoy friendship and re-connect with their communities.

Older veterans' adventures online

In spring 2019 Age Scotland, Lothian Veterans Centre, Project Semaphore (Royal Naval Association) and AbilityNet collaborated so that a group of older veterans could enjoy the benefits of digital technology together.

Community Connecting Service

Age Scotland is enhancing it suite of local social opportunities guides to highlight those offering older veterans a warm welcome.  Our Community Connecting team can introduce older veterans to more such opportunities over the phone (0800 12 44 222).

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