National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 – Loneliness and Social Isolation

Tuesday 17th  November 

Today’s theme is Loneliness and Social Isolation.

Over 9 million people in the UK across all adult ages – more than the population of London – are either always or often lonely. Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all.  If you know someone who is lonely or socially isolated, they may be vulnerable and open to forms of abuse such as scams and financial abuse.

As a result of the pandemic more of us may experience loneliness and social isolation due to the impact of social distancing measures and the reduction in face-to-face opportunities to socialise, connect with family, neighbours and friends, and to take part in physical activity and everyday cultural and faith experiences.

 

What does it feel like to be old and alone

One million of us are already suffering from acute loneliness, while two and a half million over 60s fear they could end up similarly isolated. The Channel 4 video below explains what it is like to be old and alone.

 

 

 

 Information, Support and Advice on Loneliness and Social Isolation

Information on loneliness and isolation along with links to organisations and groups who can provide support  is available on the ConnecttoSupport website and from the organisations below.

 

People of all ages can feel lonely or socially isolated at some point in our lives. For a lot of us, particularly  in later life, loneliness can define our lives and have a significant impact on our wellbeing. See Age UK for information and support available including their befriending service.

 

Dementia Friends

A Dementia Friends Champion is a volunteer who encourages others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help.  Visit the Dementia Friends website to find out more.

Dementia Friendly Communities

A dementia-friendly community is one in which people with dementia are empowered to have high aspirations and feel confident, knowing they can contribute and participate in everyday activities that are meaningful to them e.g. hobbies, leisure activities, shopping.  Dementia friendly environments are spaces that have been specifically designed, equipped and furnished to enable easier access, comfort and security and in which it is easier to undertake usual daily activities. More information can be found on the Dementia RoadMap website and Hampshire County Council have produced a  helpful checklist for businesses and organisation to enable them become dementia friendly. 

Age Space

Hampshire has an ageing population. Developing dementia is unfortunately increasingly common, a product of living longer.   The county has recognised this need, and there is great service provision to assist those living with dementia and their carers. Age Space has organised support by NHS in Hampshire and local charities.  See  NHS Services for people with Dementia and Local Charities supporting people with Dementia for more information about the services and support available.

Silverline

The Silver Line offer older people support with loneliness including  a 24-hour helpline which is available 365 days a year and a befriending service to combat loneliness.   Visit the Silver Line website.

Good Neighbours Network 

Good Neighbours Network is a collection of over 120 local groups run by local people for local people all offering a helping hand to others in their community. The groups provide both practical help, with tasks and emotional help though befriending schemes and an expanding range of social activities, from film club to bike club. Many offer much needed transport to medical appointments or a hand with the shopping. We also have two Dementia cafes in the Network. All of the groups aim to reach out to isolated people and deliver what is needed in their community.  See a list of groups in Hampshire on the Good Neighbours website.

Mind

Mind is a charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Mind has practical tips to help you manage feelings of loneliness, and information about other places you can go for support.  Visit the Mind website.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans provide a free listening service, with no judgement, no pressure, and will help you work through what’s on your mind.  If you need advice or specialist support for a specific issue they have  a list of specialist organisations, including their contact details, which you may find helpful.  Go to the  Samaritans website to find out more about how they can help. You can call them free on 116 123.

Wavelength

Wavelength gives media technology to lonely people living in poverty. For people who are lonely, a simple radio or television can feel like a lifeline.   See the Wavelength website here to find out how you can apply for help.

 

Bereavement Support

When you are  suffering from bereavement you will often suffer from loneliness as the friendship you and your partner had with other couples may disappear.  You may also feel isolated in your grief and feel that no-one else can understand what you  are going through.

The  Way Foundation (Widowed And Young)

The Way Foundation is the only national charity in the UK for men and women aged 50 or under who have lost their partner.   Way offer a peer-to-peer support network for anyone who’s lost a partner before their 51st birthday – married or not, with or without children, whatever their sexual orientation. Visit the Way Foundation website to find out more.

Cruse

Cruse offers telephone, email and website support for people of all ages who have been bereaved . They have a Freephone national helpline 0808 808 1677 and local services, and a website (hopeagain.org.uk) specifically for children and young people.  Visit the Cruse website for more information.

Butterflies Bereavement Support

Butterflies Bereavement Support is a bereavement counselling and support charity serving Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  The charity supports anyone who has suffered a bereavement and details can be found on the Butterflies Bereavement Support website.

 

COVID-19 and Loneliness and Social Isolation

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Self-Isolation Advice for Adults with Care and Support Needs

Here are some things to think about if you are self isolating and you are offered, or need support during this time. Try to use existing and trusted community groups. If not, could a family member, friend or neighbour who you know and trust help? Not sure? Don’t answer the door. Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline: 0333 370 4000

 

Ways you can connect with us

Check out our social media on:

Facebook

Twitter – @hsab_hampshire – and search for #safeguardingadultsweek – please re-tweet and share with your networks.

Important telephone numbers

If you are worried about an adult please telephone Hampshire Adult’s Health and Care.

Hampshire Adult’s Health and Care:
0300 555 1386
or out of hours:
0300 555 1373

Police: 101 or in an emergency 999

For Deaf Access Text 999 or Emergency Minicom TextRelay on 18000 (You must be registered to use this service). For more options, click here.

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