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Nobody should live with loneliness

We often feel lonely when we feel we don't have strong social relationships or are unhappy with the ones we have. Age UK estimate that 1.2 million older people are chronically lonely so below we provide some ways to improve interaction with others. Age UK Warwickshire’s Psychological Support Services is a county-wide scheme offering a range of interventions such as counselling in people’s homes and a befriending service, aimed at improving wellbeing and supporting older people, here are some ways to avoid loneliness:

  • Invite friends, family and neighbours for a cup of tea or if you would prefer for someone else to host, ‘Contact the Elderly’ is a charity that holds regular free Sunday afternoon tea parties for people over the age of 75 who live alone. You will be collected from your home and driven to a volunteer host's home for the afternoon. To arrange this locally phone Pamela Walker on 0121 603 1331.
  • Having a chat with a friend or relative over the phone can be the next best thing to being with them. If they haven’t called for a while, why not give them a call? Or you can call ‘The Silver Line’, a helpline for older people, on 0800 4 70 80 90. You can also call ‘Independent Age’ on 0800 319 6789, ‘Age UK’ on 0800 169 2081, or ‘Friends of the Elderly’ on 020 7730 8263 to receive a regular friendship call from a volunteer who enjoys a good chat.
  • Don't wait for people to come and see you – travel to visit them. The Royal Voluntary Service can put you in touch with volunteers who provide free transport for older people with mobility issues or who live in rural areas with limited public transport.
  • If friends and family live far away, a good way to stay in touch is by using a personal computer or tablet (a handheld computer). Libraries and community centres often hold regular training courses for people to learn basic computer skills. Local branches of ‘Age UK’ run classes in computing to help older people get to grips with smartphones, tablet computers and email. Phone 01926 458100 to find out more.
  • The University of the Third Age (U3A) offers older people the chance to learn or do something new and is also a great place to meet people and make new friends. Run by volunteers, U3A has no exams. Normally, the meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month (except for August) in the Dormer Conference Centre, which is adjacent to St Peter’s Church, Dormer Place, Leamington Spa, CV32 5AA. They start at 2.15pm and last for around two hours.
  • Use the knowledge and experience you've gained over a lifetime to give something back to your community by volunteering. You'll get lots back in return, such as new skills and confidence.

Psychological support services Telephone: 01926 458112

Age UK Warwickshire, 8 Clemens Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 2DL Tel. 01926 458100 or visit their website.

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