Have you ever thought about what it feels like to be alone for most of the week? No one to talk to, and the only noise you hear is often the ticking of a clock on the wall, or laughter of people out on the street.
Have you ever stopped to think about the people that are living this in this type of isolation? The only time they may have human interaction is from people they pass in the street, or if they’re lucky, from a couple of hours of support they get a week.
Did you know?
- Loneliness does not just affect older people. Many other groups in society, from young mums to those with health or mobility issues, experience feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
- Life transitions can be key triggers for loneliness, from retirement to divorce or separation.
- Without the right support at the right time, loneliness can transition from a temporary situation to a chronic issue and can contribute to poor health and pressure on public services.
According to The Silver Line, Saga’s national charity partner, which runs a 24-hour helpline for lonely people, Christmas often brings a spike in calls.
Founder, Dame Esther Rantzen has announced that this year Saga will match donations from an appeal up to £10,000.
She commented: ‘Last Christmas the overwhelming surge of calls left us unable to answer around a third of calls made between 24 December and 2 January. Heartbreakingly, more than 5,000 callers were left entirely on their own when they desperately needed someone to talk to – a time most of the nation spends enjoying the company of friends and family.
‘All the signs are that, sadly, Christmas 2017 promises to be yet another record for us. In order to cope with the anticipated spike in call volumes, and avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario, we urgently need donations to cover our rising running costs.’
To help raise awareness of what it feels like to live alone, especially at a time that many spend with family, in a busy environment, The Silver Line charity took broadcaster, wife and mother, Fiona Phillips out of her full, family life and into isolation for a few days.
Fiona was stripped of her phone, computer and any means of communication, as well as being placed into a new home in busy central London. She was shocked by her reaction.
“Nearly half of over-75s live alone. That truly saddens me. Loneliness has been so much harder than I thought it would be. It almost dehumanised me, and I fervently hope that I never have to experience it again. Being loved and wanted and needed is what makes us human.” said Fiona
Sadly, several of our service users live life exactly like this – alone for most of the time.
You can read the full and touching article by Fiona here.