First Post November 20 2013

Be Happy Not Lonely

‘Loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 Cigarettes a day’

Getting old can be fun, but it can also be really hard.

It is reported that over 46% of people over the age of 80 feel old and see their telly as their best friend. Without doubt this is a society issue and not their fault. How often do you say hello to someone in a shop or say ‘Good Morning’ to someone on the street. People of all ages have a responsibility to those around them.

A quick ‘Hello’ or helping someone out with their shopping costs nothing and every one of all ages has a responsibility. That’s why at Gloe we are linking up with Silver Line Charity. There is a stigma about talking about loneliness, people feel embarrassed and we want to help stop it.

See a video below that shows Esther Rantzen taking to News-Talk Live about The Silver Line.

She wrote the following in a newspaper article describing her feelings, as a widow living alone for the first time at the age of 71, Ellen wrote to me (anonymously, because she said she did not want to burden her daughter) to describe her own feelings of loneliness:

“I can’t get out on my own due to health problems, so it can be as much as 3 days I go without talking to anyone… I dread the winter nights when everything seems to close in around me and I feel so isolated. I am an optimist by nature and sometimes I need that to get through another pointless day where I feel as if I am a waste of space.”

What kind of society have we created when an intelligent, articulate woman feels her life is pointless, and she is a waste of space?

The reality is that older people are a tremendous asset to society. Older people keep families functioning, (one third of all working mothers depend on grandparents for childcare), they form the bedrock of the charitable sector, and in the workplace their skills and experience make an invaluable contribution. If, like Ellen, they become isolated and vulnerable, it is the nation’s responsibility to make older people feel valued, to include them, empower them, and connect them back to their communities. And that is the purpose of Silver Line. If you just want a chat any time please call them on 08004708090.

Or if like lots of people you have the odd half an hour a week free to volunteer why not pick up the phone and make someone’s day. We all get old it’s a fact of life but picking up the phone is easy it takes a few minutes – go on check it out today at http://www.thesilverline.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/