Neuro Café 1st June 2022 by Linda S
See the slides in LEGS Members' Area for details.
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:
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:
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.
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
Find people that ‘get’ you
Interact with pets/animals
Make positive connections via social media
Try talking therapies
Ask how others coped.
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
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.
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
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