Committed to helping fight loneliness this winter

Loneliness can affect anyone and research shows it can be extremely harmful to people’s health. Bay Health & Care Partners, the 11 organisations delivering Better Care Together, are asking everyone to think about others over winter and do what they can to help tackle loneliness.

Feelings of loneliness can increase during the winter months when people find it harder to get out and about, especially in rural areas like Cumbria and Lancashire. Older people are particularly vulnerable with more than half of people aged over 75 living alone and one in ten suffering from intense loneliness. 

Claire Molloy, Chief Executive Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust, said:

“Many older people go for days on end without seeing or talking to anyone and we know that this can be damaging to their health. This week we’re shining a spotlight on loneliness – promoting the support that’s available and encouraging staff to think about what they can do to help.

“We can all do our bit - take the time to get in touch with an older friend, relative or neighbour. Why not give them a phone call, arrange a visit or offer to run some errands? These are small efforts to go to that could make an incredible difference to someone.”

Older people are often more vulnerable but it’s important to remember that anyone can be affected by loneliness. Winter can be a challenging time for many reasons as Richard Thwaites, Clinical Director for First Step, explains:

“People often change their routines as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder - replacing outdoor activities with time in front of the TV. As a result they may be more vulnerable to feelings of loneliness and a general low mood. Trying to stick to your usual routine, staying in touch with friends and exercising can all help.”

There’s lots of support available for anyone who is experiencing loneliness and advice on how we can all do our bit to help.  

Find out more on the NHS website