Marjorie’s story and her tips on alleviating loneliness

IMAG0010AJ Community Care customer Marjorie gives an invaluable insight into how loneliness and isolation has affected her life and 8 great tips to help you proactively combat loneliness for yourself or someone else.

“I would like to give you my views and experience on loneliness and isolation, especially with the elderly, like myself – yet it is present with many people through life. Perhaps I was lucky and only experienced isolation when I fell and required 3 operations to my right leg and had 13 months in hospital. The loneliness hit me when I finally came home from hospital to live with my son, as he died very tragically soon after my arrival home. Loneliness and isolation was at it its worst.
Cares came 5 times per day and still do, the reason being I was told I would never walk again. I’m still trying and making some progress. Here are my tips on how you can combat loneliness
I’m told time is a great healer, yes, how slow it is, we all feel.
ALWAYS KEEP TRYING. If tears come remember they could be a safety valve, doing away with tension.

TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY, it could be lovely.

Marjorie’s Tips

Tip 1: Take Control
Not having family or next of kin accentuated the problem. What did I do?
The carers made a big difference, to be able to see someone every meal time. I decided loneliness was my problem, so I would have to sort it.
Tip 2: Age UK Befriending Scheme
Firstly, I found the phone was a great comfort, to friends and to Age UK on many problems as I found Age UK will help, will find a befriender where possible to match up to oneself.
Tip 3: Letter writing
Luckily I love writing and receiving letters, so I busied myself writing longer and more interesting letters and took up more pen friends. I wrote through the tears on many occasions. Writing is like speaking to someone and it is surprising how it relieves the tension. When you have letters backs, then it takes your mind from yourself for a while.
Tip 4: Enjoy wildlife
My main hobby has always been, countryside, wildlife, animals and gardens. This week I have already been taking a watch on the families of baby birds with their parents.
The starling mum with a dangling broken leg, worked feeding until it was nearly dark, and gave me the inspiration to try and overcome any loneliness or isolation. That mum was so determined to carry on, regardless of its broken leg and pain, if a bird can be strong in mind, so should we humans. Hours tick by when you watch birds without a though for oneself. Please try it, in fact any animals, except birds are more prolific in our gardens.
Look into a garden and see the real beauty, colours, shapes, raindrops, glistening hanging from foliage, and possible rainbows. Nature is a healer of the mind.
Tip 5: Read books
If one can read, try to pick up happy stories, biographies of your favourite people. Look up between the pages and look outside through the window see what is happening there will be some life out there, maybe a squirrel, a little field mouse with pricked up ears, then you will be fully involved writing and watching. Tell yourself that there are many people worse off than yourself, it sometimes helps.
Tip 6: Connect with carers and visitors
Carers are only human and can have cares of their own, some are jovial, others don’t laugh too much, so try to find their interests, and although they are supposed to chat to the client, your interest may spark off a smile or even a laugh.
Tip 7: Keep as busy as you can
Try to keep busy (if you can). I find it difficult not walking, anything you can manage however small – do it. Before frustration sets in.
Try to be occupied just a bit as it will give you a feeling of satisfaction, maybe chasing isolation away for a while.
Tip 8: Stagger your visitors
Stagger the time and day’s people visit you, if there are a few, arrange them over the week. If a trip out is in the offering, you make the destination choice if you can, or throw suggestions to the person offering.

Enjoy companionship calls

If you, like Marjorie are prone to being affected by Loneliness and Isolation then you may enjoy social calls from AJ Community Care Support Workers a great way to pass time and enjoy companionship.

We have a wide range of personalities within our team and will find someone who has similar interests to you and who you can connect with. If your care is funded you may be entitled to social care funding and should speak to your allocated social worker about this. Your AJ Care Coordinator will be more than happy to support you to do this.

If you find you are not eligible for funding then you are able to top up your care using your personal funds. If you would like more information about companionship calls please don’t hesitate to call and speak to Rachel on 03305 552277.



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