Monday 15 June – Friday 19 June 2020
Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) was started four years ago by a charity called Marmalade Trust, to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak openly about it.
At Right at Home, this is a topic we feel extremely passionate about and we understand the severity of this issue across the UK. We know the impact loneliness and social isolation can have on a person’s mental health and wellbeing and companionship is a big part of the services we offer. We’ve seen first-hand the impact getting a visit from a trusted, familiar face can make to someone’s week, even if it’s just for an hour.
Our local offices are playing their part in helping to tackle loneliness, not just for their Clients but in their wider communities too. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this included running exercises classes, coffee clubs, bingo and dementia friendly activities, to encourage people to get out into the local community and meet with others. You can read more about the steps Right at Home has been taking to tackle loneliness here.
With lockdown restrictions in place over the past few months, as a network we’ve had to get creative with how we can continue tackling loneliness. In April, we launched our #ActivitiesAtHome campaign on our social media channels. Through this campaign, we have suggested ideas for individuals and families to do at home to keep mentally stimulated during lockdown. You can read more about this campaign here.
Whilst loneliness can often be associated with older people, it can affect anyone of any age. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people isolating or shielding, thousands of people will be feeling the effects of loneliness, so please think about how you can make a difference in your local community by checking in on others.
A few suggestions include:
- Holding a quiz for family, friends and neighbours on a free App such as Zoom or Skype. For those who are not comfortable with technology, post a quiz sheet through their door with the questions printed out so they can still join in.
- Having a chat with someone you know that lives alone, whether it’s over the telephone, email or Skype. You may be the only person that individual talks to that day or even that week.
- If you’re looking to reach out to a neighbour that you haven’t got contact details for, pass a note through their door with your telephone number on and let them know you are available to talk.
- Many local community activities have moved online, so take a look on sites like Facebook and Twitter to see what is going on in your local area.
Marmalade Trust has produced an in-depth guide to loneliness with lots of information, tips and ideas for supporting people to feel more connected with others. To read this guide, please click here. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Other useful resources:
Mind Mental Health Charity: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/loneliness/about-loneliness/
NHS ‘Get help with loneliness’: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feeling-lonely/