Loneliness is a subjective feeling, where, as an individual we do not feel we have as much social interaction or as many strong, fulfilling relationships with people as we desire. For example you can be in a busy room, full of people but still feel very lonely; You can have carers call in on you several times a day, but still feel lonely.
Here at Cyril Flint Befrienders we focus on loneliness in older people and what we can do to help. We are however, very aware that loneliness does not discriminate and indeed some of our volunteers cite their own personal loneliness as their motivation for becoming a Befriender with us.
This Loneliness Awareness Week, we wanted to share Edna’s account of her own experience of loneliness and how she felt it crept up on her, a feeling which many of our Befriendees express:
‘Life is so strange, you go along quite happily with Family and friends and then, in a relatively short time, it all changes.
You are faced with bereavement; husband, sister and best friend and several other really good friends. Because of ill-health you are unable to go out alone and you find yourself virtually housebound. The future is bleak.
Then, one day, someone suggests that Cyril Flint Befrienders might help. This lovely young girl comes into your life, something you thought could never happen.
She has made such a difference, sharing the events of her life with me, taking me out and really caring.
I never thought that I would have another ‘Best Friend’.
Thank you Cyril Flint!’
There are many ways you can get involved in our mission to combat loneliness in older people, be that by referring a loved one or a neighbour; hosting a coffee morning or a dress down day at work to help us raise much needed funds to continue operating, or volunteering your time to become a Befriender to an older person in your community. Have a look through the opportunities on our website or pop us an email for more information!