“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved”

Mother Teresa

Winter is the harshest time of year and with snow expected across the UK from Thursday, 2017 is no exception. Icy roads, frozen windscreens, dark nights. For the best of us January and February can be slow, long and somewhat depressing after the excitement of Christmas. Bring on the summer!

Now imagine dealing with the cold and dark whilst not seeing another human being for days, even weeks on end. Poor rural transport links and bad weather conditions can mean some of our elderly might only have the radio or TV for company. Ok for a couple of days, but after a while this just isn’t enough and the onset of real isolation can set in.

And it can be an ongoing issue, not just confined to winter – bereavement or loss of mobility can transform a once social, active being into unwanted home confinement. Not fun for anyone.

So, what can you do to help someone that you think might be lonely? As well as effective e-learning courses which can provide real insight into the plight of loneliness, there are some day to day actions that we can all take to make a difference to those dealing with unwanted seclusion.

Could you pop in on the way back from work to visit someone who is alone? Even the shortest of human contact can really brighten someone’s day - what’s 15 minutes got on that working day you’ve just gone through? You’ll feel good for doing it too.

Are they warm enough? Is their heating sufficient so that they’re comfortable? Pensioners should receive an annual heating allowance - do you need to seek further advice for them to assist financially? Squeezed council budgets are affecting support offered, but it’s still there.

Let’s look at everyday situations. Feeling agitated that ‘the old dear’ in front of you at the supermarket checkout is taking forever? Let them. It could be the only social interaction they have all week and might be more important than you realise.

Me Learning offers over 100 high quality e-learning courses that are easy to follow, informative and can fit in around your busy schedule. For advice on dealing with loneliness try our popular Loneliness and Isolation course.

And, while the weather is cold, our Winter Warmth courseis also incredibly informative and helpful.

To find out more, email us or call 01273 499100