Tue, 19 Dec 2017
FOR most people December is the busiest month of the year, but for some
While many people are juggling baking and baubles alongside gifts and good cheer, some members of our community find themselves more isolated than ever.
In fact, loneliness is not just making us sick, it is killing us.
Studies of older people and social isolation show that those without adequate social interaction are twice as likely to die
To put this into context, the increased mortality risk is comparable to that from smoking.
But shocking as this is, such studies overlook the loneliness epidemic among younger adults.
Quite alarmingly, The Mental Health Foundation found loneliness is actually a greater concern among young people than the elderly.
This is borne out in West Berkshire, where a staggering 32
What’s more is the shocking
It appears that 53
Apart from the fact that they may turn out to be people who could become genuine friends, this is also removing one potential element of our support network – whether we are after someone to feed the cat while we are away, supply an emergency egg when we get caught short in the middle of cooking, share a really good ‘buy one, get one free deal’ or share a journey.
It takes so little to bridge the gap as it can start with a simple hello.
During the winter, the chance for those hellos may be less spontaneous as we all hide behind our closed curtains on a cold winter’s night, but perhaps that makes it even more important to take the first step and knock on a
When the snow falls, we seem to feel that we have permission to talk, share the challenge the weather presents and help each other out, but in
With Christmas approaching, why not use that ‘excuse’ to say hello, see what your
Sharing information about what you know happens in the community and seeing if you, or others you know, have shared interests can create connections that lead to a brighter future with stronger networks of support around each and every one of us.
Do let us know what happens.
West Berkshire Council’s Social Care information point (
Befriend West Berkshire is looking for befrienders. Call (01635) 49004 to speak to Simone Foster or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
www.healthwatchwestberks.org.uk/events-2/ is a calendar of lots of local activities.
How about sharing a mince pie with a
locations) link: www.coffeecompanions.co.uk/ location-search/
Or help out on Christmas day with CommunityChristmas.org.uk
This column is brought to you on behalf of the West Berkshire Health and Wellbeing Board, which is responsible for improving the health and wellbeing of our population across the district, by developing improved and joined-up health and social care services.
Tell us what you think about our column by emailing NDCCG.email@example.com