Five ways to wellbeing: Connection

For combating loneliness and #StayingWell in later years: 1 – Connection

Confidence is reliant upon feeling valued and shared experiences with other people. Having others to connect with will provide engagement and support for someone lonely so that they feel more positive about themselves. Regular human interaction is a well-defined need and as one of the five ways to wellbeing it is essential for good mental and physical health.

Be aware that some older people are indeed keen to be out and about but reaching out on their own has become a major barrier. If there is someone you know in this position, you can support them by doing the following:

1. Call regularly and remember those special days like a birthday or significant anniversary. Do it as often as possible because the sound of your voice will be reassuring.

2. Leading on from those phone calls, visit them in person. A physical presence will allow for easier rapport making a shared activity out and about entirely possible.

3. Encourage them to join a friendship group within the local community. Age Concern Colchester have a range of such groups for common interests and the odd coffee morning with friends. If they are unable to get to them independently, maybe organise their transport or better still accompany them yourself: https://www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk/events/

4. Partnering up with a friend or relative on days and evenings out is a great way to add to happy experiences and memories. Ask yourself, would this be possible if they were alone? Befriending is a splendid way to help those in the community make those connections necessary for good health: https://www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk/our-services/health-and-wellbeing-2/befriending-and-friendship/

5. Take an interest in their life and ask plenty of questions about their day.

6. If you are struggling to communicate them on line, teach them how to use Skype, texting and E-mails. The technology club at 63 North Hill is here to help as a gentle introduction to the world wide web: https://www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk/event/technology-club/2018-12-04/