What is Loneliness?
We all feel lonely at some point in our lives. It is perfectly normal to feel lonely, as it is a sign that as humans, we often enjoy the company of others. Loneliness can be felt momentarily or it may be felt for much longer. People who feel lonely often do not ackowledge these emotions or tell others and so it becomes hidden. Feeling lonely can lead to more serious health problems such as depression. It has been found the loneliness can impact upon a person’s health as much as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.
An event such as moving into a new home or the death of a loved one may increase feelings of loneliness. If you are feeling lonely or you’re worried about someone you care for who may be feeling lonely support is available. It can be useful to think of positive ways to overcome any feelings of loneliness that you may be experiencing.
Ways to Overcome Feelings of Loneliness
There are many ways to help combat feelings of loneliness. It may help to socialise with others, to make new friends or to get in touch with friends and family.
Meet New People
- Join a club or a class to meet other like minded people.
- Take up a hobby
- Keep fit. Exercise helps to make you feel happy. There may be a class or group near you that you would like to join.
- If you’re single you may be interested in looking for a new partner or companion.
- There are local organisations who can support you to socialise and make new friends.
- Contact a befriending service such as Independent Age
Keep in Touch or Reconnect with Family and Friends
- Keep in touch via the internet with friends and family anywhere in the world. Visit the Getting Online section of Information Now for more ideas
- You may like to invest in a mobile phone or a landline telephone to help stay connected.
If you continue to feel lonely
- Speak to your GP who can refer you to others who can help
Other local help
Chain Reaction is a service commissioned by Newcastle City Council that supports older people (55+) to live independently in the community.
By promoting the use of community-based resources and facilities, Chain Reaction helps people to lead happier, healthier lives. It supports and sustains friendships in order to combat social isolation and to increase a sense of good emotional health and wellbeing
Chain Reaction is provided by three partner organisations:
Together they have knowledge and experience of working with older people, those who have a learning disability, and people with poor mental health.
Ways to Wellness service helps people in the West of Newcastle to manage their long-term conditions, which may include activities such as:
- Getting involved in local groups and activities
- Accessing specialist services and support
- Healthy eating and getting more active
- Getting support around benefits and welfare rights
Caring Hands Charity offer Wellbeing Services in the East End of Newcastle which includes a Befriending Service to address isolation.
Campaign to end loneliness have more ideas and information on how to combat feeling lonely.
Prolonged isolation and feelings of loneliness have been found to have negative effects on health. You may find other articles within the Health section on Information Now which may be useful.
The Silver Line is the confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK open every day and night of the year. Specially trained helpline staff offer
- information, friendship and advice
- signposting to local groups and services
- regular befriending calls
- protection and support to those who are suffering abuse and neglect
Last updated: August 3, 2018