Top ten tips for avoiding isolation
Our research report Isolation: the emerging crisis for older men shows just how widespread isolation and loneliness are for men in later life. The research we carried out to put this report together highlighted many different causes of isolation and loneliness, which could apply equally to men and to women.
So we have put together these top ten tips to help both men and women to stay socially connected and avoid feeling lonely.
- Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone – it’s important to keep in touch with family and friends, even if they are far away.
- Get internet savvy – the internet can help you stay in touch with friends through video technology like skype, and there are also online forums where you can talk to like-minded people about a topic that interests you. Age UK run computer courses (0800 169 6565).
- Plan ahead – it can help to plan your day and week ahead and put things in your diary to do each day. It could be something small like going to a local café or going for a walk in the park, but thinking about it in advance can help motivate you to get out and about.
- Learn something new – now is the time to do thing you always wanted to do. It could be learning to play chess, learning a new language, or even how to play the saxophone!
- Consider volunteering or helping friends or neighbours – it will make you feel more involved in your community, and allow you to use your skills in a worthwhile way. Try the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (020 7643 1385).
- Stay active – you could become a member of a walking group, join a swimming class, or help to run an allotment.
- Find out what’s going on in your area – there could be community events taking place where you can meet people from your area, or interesting theatre groups coming to town that you may enjoy. Your local council could be a good place to start.
- Make the most of public transport – from the age of 60 you can get free travel on buses, and getting out and about on public transport will keep you fitter than driving. Older people can also get discounts on coach and train travel.
- Look after yourself and your emotions – you’re more likely to get out and about and have the confidence to meet new people if you are fairly healthy and not feeling too low. Call The Silver Line (0800 470 8090) for advice when feeling low.
- Find out about befriending – knowing there is someone you can talk to can make a huge difference if you are feeling lonely or unhappy. Call the Independent Age advice service (0800 319 6789).
To find out more, read our guide Healthy, Happy, Connected. Call 0800 319 6611 or complete our online form to order your free copy.