Loneliness

Neuro Café 1st June 2022 by Linda S


See the slides in LEGS Members' Area for details.


A young woman wearing a white top and jeans sits on a sofa looking out at the window. Her fist is over her mouth and she is holding her knees near her chest. She seems apprehensive and lonely.
Loneliness

Everyone has been lonely at some point in their life. It is quite common to experience loneliness if you have a long-term health condition.


1 in 4 adults feel lonely some or all of time.


There is no one single solution to the problem. Numerous resources are available to help combat loneliness. Helpful links:


Mind

Samaritans

On a bold green is the slogan "It's alright to ask for help" and the Samaritans telephone number.
It's alright to ask for help

Mental Health Challenges


There is a correlation between loneliness and mental health problems. Loneliness has a profound effect on depression; the lonelier you feel, the worse depression can be. The pandemic has caused an increase in loneliness. We can identify three types of loneliness:

  • emotional

  • socials

  • existential.


The Good News


  • There is a UK-wide plan to combat loneliness.

  • There are practical steps you can take to reduce feelings of loneliness.

  • Support is available.


Be aware of the risk factors so you can take evasive action.


Get support before loneliness becomes a chronic problem.

Mental Health Awareness Week #ivebeenthere is 9-15 June 2022

Positive Steps


Circumstances can make you feel lonely.

  • Do enjoyable things to keep you busy

  • Stimulate your mind

  • Do physical activity

  • Engage with people in daily life

  • Develop a sense of community

  • Keep strong

  • Find people that ‘get’ you

  • Interact with pets/animals

  • Make positive connections via social media

  • Try talking therapies

  • Ask how others coped.


A very fluffy ginger brown dog is looking at us, with a woman behind him blow drying his fur.
Pets make great pals

How can we connect and communicate?

  • Do not judge or stigmatise

  • Make groups welcoming to other people

  • Listen and show understanding

What does LEGS do to help?

  • Runs sessions for Carers&Families online so people can connect (eg Tai Chi and Pilates)

  • Facilitates WhatsApp groups where people can interact with their peers

  • Organises a weekly timetable of Neuro Café talks and education sessions from participants.

  • Organises regular social events (Christmas parties and Summer Socials)

LEGS physio sessions have different levels. They are upbeat and have around 8-10 participants which is the optimal number for interactions.

What do LEGS people do to combat loneliness?

  • Visit Heygo for online guided tours around the world

  • Watch online lectures such as those at U3A

  • Attend community events such as Jubilee gatherings

  • Contact local Community Centres

  • See the GP and ask about Social prescribing activities


An invitation to a Summer Social. A band of red flowers encircle the date and details.
Join LEGS for an online Summer Social!

LEGS WhatsApp groups


Participants of LEGS are encouraged to use these as forums for friendly chat and peer support. Feel free to reach out to each other and use as these as starting points for social connections.

Living with people with neurological conditions


You may become lonely because the person you live with lives with a condition which affects their personality or attitude to life.

It can be really hard to be a carer. People might say "you should think of yourself" but if you want to do something you have to put something in place whilst you do it.

Suggestion

  • Try to connect with the things and people which make you feel at ease

  • There are Sitting services from places like Age UK (some have fees)

  • Ask for support


A woman with white hair kneels down in a cottage garden with a plant in one hand and a trowel in the other. She is smiling at the plant in her purple gloved hands.
Being in nature can ease feelings of loneliness.

Pass it on!


  • Do something simple, like smile. You could challenge yourself to smile at somebody in the local shop and see if they smile back!

  • Try growing something

  • Volunteer and connect with other people

  • Get in touch with local schools to see if they have opportunities for volunteering

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