When you’ve been bereaved, there can be a lot of changes to adjust to. If the person who died was also the person you lived with, this can be very unsettling. This is most common with spouses or partners, or you may have lost a friend, sibling or other relative you live with.

I’d never lived on my own before, until my husband died. Before that I’d lived with my parents. I didn’t cook properly for myself for quite a long time.

Stay connected

Try to keep in touch with family and friends to avoid becoming too isolated. As time goes by, you might also want to consider finding new opportunities to meet people. Visit our webpage Staying connected for ideas on how to get regular social contact.

Boost your income

The death may have left you with less money coming in – for example, if you no longer have income from a partner’s pension. It’s a good idea to check if there are now any benefits you could be claiming. Try our online benefits calculator or call our Helpline on 0800 319 6789 for a free benefits check.

If you’re living alone, you can get a 25% discount on your Council Tax. If you’re below State Pension age, you may be able to apply for a Bereavement Support Payment.

Learn new skills…

You may find that you now have responsibility for tasks you’ve never done before. You might want to learn some new skills, but take it a step at a time. See if your council or a local charity runs any courses in skills like DIY or cookery. Use Gov.uk to find the contact details for your local council.

…or get a helping hand

It will take time to learn things, so do get help in the meantime. Friends, neighbours and family might be able to assist. If you need help with small household tasks and repairs, your local council or Age UK may offer a handyperson service. In Scotland, call Age Scotland's helpline on 0800 12 44 222 to find local services that can help. See our guide Getting help at home for other ideas.

Feel safe

When you’re used to having someone else around, living alone can bring worries about security. Put your mind at rest by checking your home. Your local police may offer free security checks or read our guide Home security for more information.

Next steps

Our guide If you’re feeling lonely has more ideas about how to meet new people.

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