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Do you feel lonely at times?

A minister for loneliness has been appointed to help tackle the misery endured by around nine million Britons.

Theresa May has backed a series of recommendations made by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, which highlighted how widespread the problem is.

As well as announcing Tracey Crouch will become the minister responsible for the issue, the Prime Minister said a cross-government strategy to find ways to stop people feeling lonely will be published later this year.

A study by The Co-op and the British Red Cross showed more than nine million people always or often feel lonely, while Age UK found 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month and Scope said up to 85% of young disabled adults feel lonely.

The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, chaired by Labour’s Rachel Reeves and Conservative Seema Kennedy, worked with 13 charities over the last year to help find solutions to the problem. Ms Reeves and Ms Kennedy said: “We are really pleased to see that the Government is taking the issue of loneliness very seriously with its prompt response to our report. Jo Cox said that ‘young or old, loneliness doesn’t discriminate’.

What is your experience?  Do you feel lonely at times?  How do you cope? What do you think should be done to tackle this widespread issue? If you were the new Minister for Loneliness what would you do?

 

Do you feel lonely at times?

255 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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BFord33
10th Mar 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
split from husband, feeling lost, lonely,
rosamund132
26th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I'm sure almost everyone feels lonely at some point or points in their lives, because they feel they don't fit in or belong. The only answer is to ensure you meet people and then find someone or some others who you have something in common. When I was much younger- a new parent- and I moved, I found people would speak to my baby and I gradually began to find groups I could join. I have moved a couple of times since my children were grown up and found that having a dog breaks the ice and gets you out and about too! In these days of the internet, it is much easier to keep in touch or join in forums to air your views; but nothing beats meeting people in your community. Look out for local community pages, go to local libraries and community centres and see what is on offer Good luck!
DAFFODIL
11th Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I would say I'm a happy go lucky person I've been on my own since my twenties I have had relationships but they never got me to the alter.I just never met the right man or I was too fussy.Im now retired and I seem to be more on my own now .I don't go out as much as I use to and most of the people I know are still working.Sometimes I wish I did have a partner who I could share my joys and woes with and discuss things.Now a days with Internet you can always find someone to chat with but it would be nicer if they were by yourside.Loneliness is not nice but I'm glad I have the friends I have and they let me be part of their familys,and that makes up for the times when it makes me sad to be living by myself.
BFord33
10th Mar 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi I'm new to this forum, and I see that your post is a year old. Hiw are you feeling now a year on?
richardherts
10th Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I feel more lonely moving near my children, they encouraged me to move near them but I hardly ever see them as they are too busy.
charlton
10th Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I live near 1 of my children. And if I didn’t pick the youngest up after school , I wouldn’t see her , she dosnt drive and works. . The other 2 are not that near. , but don’t ring that often . Just waiting for the weather to improve . Then will get the odd weekend away .
bobbie22
4th Mar 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes I think almost everyone can feel lonely at times , more so if you live on your own even if have loving friends and family . However feeling lonely at times does not necessarily mean unhappy . Just occasionally it's nice to have another persons company .
Lena2018
12th Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
You asked the question, "Do you feel lonely at times?" Your poll showed that most peeps said yes.
You then suggested that we share the vote with our friends and see what they think.
Some folk don't have friends to share things with, how could that be possible? No Friends?
Is it possible? Are there folk out there on their own with no friends?
PaulineB14
23rd Mar 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Lena2018, I thought exactly the same. I don't have friends in a physical sense, only online and even then not very many.
For all sort of reasons, one being I find it very difficult to meet and find friends.... I am lonely.
charlton
3rd Feb 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
my husband has a serious drink dependent problem, which sometimes can last 3/4 days and because of this ,I get very lonely as most of the time is spent on my own . when hes not in drink he is usually asleep . And can get quite nasty . At 68 feel to old and tired to start again
Wilf
4th Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Thats sad. Lots of good friends on here Charlton-wish you well.
charlton
4th Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Thanks it’s nice that somebody has responded
IreneB6
10th Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Bless you sweet lady. Please do try and find a way to get yourself out of this dreadful situation. X
charlton
11th Feb 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I wish .I am building a life of my own . And planning a solo holiday But will stay put in my house . Getting over 2 cancers . Although it’s very hurtful at times , as I only remarried 3 years ago . I was vulnerable to that kind of man . But hey ho watch this space . My 68 birthday today and I am making changes . Thankyou for your kind words
[deleted]
24th Feb 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
charlton
25th Feb 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
thanks , just found out how to read my messages. So that's a start.
bobbie22
4th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Never too old to start again , I did it after 35yrs of marriage . There comes a time when you realise nothing is gonna change and loving a person who doesn't care or appreciate you is slowly destroying you're own life. we are given only one hit at life so best make it the best you can .
richardherts
10th Mar 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
If you would like to just get out sometimes and make friends try Meetup, it’s free and there are lots of things going on.
charlton
10th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Sadly I have just lost my brother so it’s set me back a bit
charlton
10th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes I am trying . But sadly just lost my brother
sarahe17
7th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Thanks for mentioning Meet up - I will look it up.
jennilinn
26th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I feel lonely sometimes, I lost my husband not in the true sense but to dementia. It's difficult to see a once strong ambitious man become so childlike. However I have a lot to be grateful for so I just have to get on with life and cope as best I can, no one can do that for me.
EricB4
19th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Jennie, I know how you feel. My lovely wife is in a home with advanced Alzheimers. We were very close and living on my own is not nice, but I must say I am not lonely but I have lots of friends who keep in touch. I immerse myself in music.
scully
23rd Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I lost my husband, then my mother and my father in very quick succession and after the second year the impact is kicking in.
Not old enough for bingo and too old for singles bars it is very difficult at any age
JoyceH8
23rd Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
It would help greatly if there were more drop in centers or community centers that seniors could go to . Also teaching a few life skills ...I am a great believer in the saying.....Your never too old.
ValH46
22nd Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
If this is the case why are the government not assisting local councils to build more sheltered type housing with a community and social life. In my area they are emptying them and pull No them down and further isolating people
JeanS5
22nd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I fail to see what good a minister will do. The problem is at local level. Communities are disappearing due to centralization of everything and closing down local post offices, banks, shops, libraries etc. Closer communities mean more opportunities for communication.
IreneL75
22nd Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
A minister will not help the thousands of people who are lonely. I have been lonely all my life through school ,work , a long marriage too! I come from a big family and have my own family and been lonely a lot! But over the years I've adjusted to this and like my own company now! And my dog is a good listener and always pleased to see me!
Carol Barrow
22nd Jan 2018
7
Thanks for voting!
We don't nerd a Minister for Loneliness on some exorbitant salary .What difference will that make , to someone who lives alone and the only person they might see all day , is the meals on wheels provider , and/or the care worker for a few minutes each day. The money should be used in having more day care centres, and luncheon clubs .We have one in our area run by the local community from the church, which is brilliant. They also have,a mini bus which takes people out on day trips or just to the supermarket once a week.
lorna52
22nd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Have someone go to schools for a start. Catch them when young about loneliness. Suggest how they could help. I was out a walk just to be with other people,a little girl smiled at me and said hello. It made my day. Her mum told me she always says hello to people who look sad. Get community evolved. .adverts on television. Have you said hello to your neighbour today. It just takes one person to say hello.
MaggieJ
22nd Jan 2018
7
Thanks for voting!
I believe I was quite a chatty child and, as I spent much of my early adult life travelling alone, I learnt to initiate conversations with strangers; that ability has stood me in good stead as I have aged.

Following my return to the UK in 1992 my social life revolved around my business: Manchester's first BackPackers Hostel.

Now, as a formerly self-employed/sole trader and a single woman with no children, I find myself with very few friends in this country and single women of whatever age are rarely included in invitations to Dinner Parties!

20 years ago I was the person keeping an eye on two of my elderly neighbours, each of whom was living in 2 rooms of a 6-bedroom Victorian terraced house but occupying just 2 rooms on the ground floor as they could not afford to heat their homes, nor could they easily manage to the stairs. I now find myself in a similar situation.

My solution: I'm now in the process of setting-up the 'golden-oldies' version of the Youth Hostel Association (YHA): 3rd Age Hostelling and Housing (3ahh.org).

3ahh.org will encourage walking, talking and socialising amongst all age groups. We won't discriminate against the young, but our charitable aims will benefit the 'golden-oldie' 3rd Agers.

The word 'Housing' in our name, 3rd Age Hostelling and Housing, indicates our interest in encouraging inter-generational housing, perhaps via Housing Co-operatives, suitable for the needs of both old and young.

As anyone who has worked alone will know, working alone, without any outside support, makes the task much harder. If you would like to be involved please say "Hello" on facebook and, if nothing else, we'll all have something else to talk about when we collar a stranger on the bus!
AnnH57
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
What a waste of tax payers money having a minister , what is she going to do take us all out for the day. Nobody can help this situation as people are too busy with their lives.to care about other people & we are not all old!
oldlenton
22nd Jan 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Whilst I realise that not everyone has the same personality and some may find it difficult to socialise, I found the best thing I did on retiring and as a single person, was to join our local U3A. We now have well over 400 members and 48 different activity groups. Over the last ten years I have made many new friends through the U3A and I now run five groups (Reading Group, Creative Writing Group, Lunch Group, Weekenders Group and Pub Quiz Group) as well as attending the History Group and a Singalonga Group (which is great fun!). So I would suggest to anyone who is lonely, to check out where their nearest U3A is and go along and find out more about it, even if they only joined one group or just went to the main monthly meeting I think it would help. My best successful group is the Weekenders when we meet once a month for Coffee Club when we plan our events for the next month or so. We try to have monthly Social Evenings (at someone's house when we each provide an item for the buffet), one outing (Bus Pass Day Out cost nothing), and one lunch out. We have a nucleus of around 18 members with an average turnout of 12 at each of the above events. The best thing I ever joined!
NassierT
22nd Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Facebook is my only way of contact, unless I go shopping, which if I did, would be far to expensive, but I do have a disability which hampers my walking, long distances, which I used to love, I do have a phone, but know one rings, so I watch TV and tidy up the flat, great excitement, but it helps.....
AnneL1
22nd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Looking after my husband with Alzheimer’s/Dementia is very isolating. Getting out on your my is nigh on impossible, taking my husband anywhere is exhausting. People you know are all getting on with their own lives, which I understand. But I can’t even have a conversation now with my husband, he is forgetting how to speak. It’s like have a 70kg three year old, but a least a three year old is learning not going backwards. Absolute nightmare.
Lionel
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes Anne, I do understand. My wife has MS and is increasingly limited in what she may do.

I am better placed than you in that we can converse quite well, but to quote Timothy West at the opening sequence of his narrow boat TV series, 'our lives are now quite narrow.' For myself this is not a great problem as I enjoy solitude but my dear wife really was a true 'people person.' She is taking her isolation from others very hard.

She has children, now in their forties. One, her son has run away because he lives in a perfect urban world and mum doesn't achieve his idea of perfection and a daughter who is very good to both of us, but she is in a new relationship and has two teen aged kids and so her time is limited. But she does her best for her mother, and me.

In the latter part of my working life I was a resident carer for many elderly, and very infirm people. I didn't work for peanuts so my agency gave me wealthy clients mostly. I have to say their families only wanted their estate and resented the fact I was well paid to do the job which, by right of being blood family, was theirs to do. So sadly, this is so common these days.

Keep in contact Anne, the blue square on the right of the screen leads to a private chat function. I'll look out for you.
EricB4
19th Mar 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I understand Anne, I nursed my lovely wife for 6 years watching her gradually slip away from me,absolutely heartbreaking. It has been the most difficult time of my life, she has been in care for 3 years and doesn’t know me at all now. So you have my sympathy. I love music and this has helped me a lot.
Amycakes
22nd Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
My husband died Xmas 2015 , his family live 40 mins away, but I hardly see them , his daughter rings me now & then , months in between. My children live too far away , 2 in New Zealand , one in Hertfordshire, so don't see them as often as I would like, but they are all busy with their lives. I joined a local Hub in my village , made a few good friends, most are couples, so it's harder to butt in their lives. One friend is a widow like me , & we go shopping , she can drive , so we go to garden centres etc. People say ring me if you need help , very occasionally I have. Now if they said to me , come over & have a cuppa & a chat , that would be great , being invited makes a big difference . I keep busy , love gardening , hate weekends , & winter . I have a little dog , she is my best friend . Miss the old days when my husband was around making me laugh. Loneliness is hard, but I do make an effort to get out , otherwise climbing the walls,but I'm luckier than some .Sorry to rant on. Cheers Amycakes.
DerekA
22nd Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
Sometimes there is nowhere more lonely than the middle of a crowd...sounds daft doesn't it, but not if your on your own!
Lionel
22nd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
That is so very true Derek, and I've experienced that so many times.

I used to be far less lonely working alone on a farm that I was in a city crowd.
EileenW1
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I spend days without seeing anyone. I was ok until I was made redundant last year. I have tried getting voluntary work but organisations just don't seem intwrested
JaneT44
22nd Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Feel I have no real friends and don't fit in anywhere.
sarahe17
7th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Same here. I don’t even know how to change the problem. Meeting people is hard when you are older.
John50s
21st Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I've spent my adult life as a single working male parent of 3 boys .

Children have all left home .
I work un sociable hours as a taxi driver .
A genuine question. .
Coming from a generation where marriage is for life . I'm finding it hard to adjust to being single at my age . I'm prob blethering but a single man in his 50s is a very lonely place x
sarahe17
7th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Same for a single lady. Life is very lonely I sometimes regret leaving my husband at least he was coming. I now make do with the cats!
sarahe17
7th Apr 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Sorry silly phone I meant company not coming.
Twinkletutu
20th May 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
John50s try Meetups as they have events during the day as well as evenings
seadancer
20th Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
One of the problems there arent many things for people to go to.especialy if they have some health problems.all sorts of exercise things yoga etc and of course bingo. Some of our local places do have coffee mornings and that is a good way to meet si ilzir people then you can arrange to do things amo st youurselves as well
Jenninora
20th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I do feel lonely at times though it is rare for me.
I like solitude at times, that is not loneliness to me.

If a government minister can come up with solutions for the many reasons that make people lonely, then the list below is going to take money, effort and time.

With this thread the pendulum swings.

Loneliness is :-

Community indifference
Losing a partner/ friend
Grief
Family displacement/ discord
Immobility
Agoraphobia/ fear of going out
Deafness

There is more reasons.

I can vouch through experience that loss of hearing can slowly bring about withdrawal if it is not treated. Withdraw from society and then loneliness can occur.

I am of the understanding that enough supervision should be given to anyone with this malady.
Long NHS waiting lists and expensive aids hinder and deter the delay of improving the general well-being for those with hearing loss.


Now where does a government minister begin to combat loneliness?
Lionel
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Excellent post, Jenninora, I can't understand what a minister for loneliness may do to help anyone.
viking
20th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Lonliness certainly becomes an issue when thinking about the number of people who were close friends that have passed away during one's lifetime.
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
For me, loneliness is only ever experienced in a crowd; I'm small and can't see over people's heads, consequently I avoid crowds.

Solitude is a different matter. That I've embraced for years. Time alone to wallow in the beauty of creation, time to pause for thoughts, time to pray silently. Time, away from the bustling crowds and time just to be.

Solitude is a powerful blessing indeed.
GarethW
19th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
'Loneliness' is a word with quite a bit of baggage. Its has negative connotations and is one of those things you are supposed to deal with by 'pulling yourself together and snapping out of it'.
'Go down the pub' and chat to people is one recipe but, if your local is like mine, this might well be counter productive say the least.
Another observation is that, when you are in another persons company after a time of loneliness, within minutes you are feeling irritable with them and keen for your own company again.
Perhaps a word like 'disconnection' might describe the experience better than 'loneliness'.
Whatever you call it - there is a lot of it about!
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Well said. An excellent take on the matter.
[deleted]
19th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Charleysaunt
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
What family I have live in Essex with large extended family of their own and only got to know them in the last five years or so.
I am basically jealious when I hear friends and neighbours talking about the stress of Christmas and the plans they have to keep changing. I would like some of their stress. To have people around. After Christmas one friend said "you could have come out with us for dinner". But like me, they are in their own little space so next year I am volunteering my time to anyone who wants me.
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Well said. We've found over the years helping others is the best therapy of all. Takes you out of your own place of misery. When you've finished helping things look a lot brighter.
MrsPat
18th Jan 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
No because I have my fool of a husband talking to me all day long. Can I have a cuppa love, can I do this, can I do that. he needs to unretire and get back to work and let me have some peace around the house.
Bald123
18th Jan 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Not with my old woman nagging me all day long.
[deleted]
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
MrsPat, it sounds as if my wife and you husband would do well together. Not that I'm recommending it, you understand.
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes Scandiman, I can enter into your second paragraph easily. I can't condemn my first wife, she early on dived into depression and didn't climb out. In marital terms it was 22 miserable, but very temperamentally challenging years.

My second wife, although stricken with MS, is bubbly, ever talking and fussing around. Yes, I thank Heaven for her.
SueC62
18th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I believe loneliness is more to do with an individual's make up. I have been very lonely, only being happy when in the company of others but then 12 years ago something happened that took me right down. My feeling of loneliness got so bad, I could be with friends and still feel lonely. Through self help books and counselling I came out of it and now, even though I'm alone most of the time, I have never been happier and never feel lonely. I don't rely on anyone else to make me happy, I make my own happiness. Wilf mentions his aunt who was sad and withdrawn which makes me think, together with my own experience, that loneliness is a symptom of depression.
Lionel
19th Jan 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
A very insightful comment.
jeanmark
18th Jan 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I think it is important to recognise it is not just the older person who can feel lonely, you can also experience the feeling when among people, including your family. It is a problem all can help with, one person making the effort to talk/visit to one other 'isolated' person can make all the difference to their lives and it is reciprocal in nature.
Wilf
18th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I am lucky as we have each other and quite a big family but I am very aware people can get lonely especially as they get older. I had an old aunt who died 18 months ago aged 95. She had a good life but the last 10 years were very lonely and even though she was in an old peoples home she didnt want to mix much and only really wanted to talk to here family. She used to tell me how lonely she was which was sad and because her hearing was poor we couldnt even phone her.
Lionel
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, far be it for me to disagree with you here, and I don't, yet I must comment on your post.

My wife comes from a large family, many aunts, uncles, cousins etc., and in their young days there were close knit. In her mid thirties her than husband's work brought the nuclear family to Norwich, a move which her Staffs/Worcestershire family didn't forgive, and they haven't to this day. Ten years later, as a divorced lady she married me; that upset the family applecart I can tell you!

Today, and for the last four years she has been ill with MS. Such is the unforgiveness among her blood family no one calls and they don't answer her calls.

In both our separate and shared experiences of family it is a fragile thing these days, driven not by traditional values of loyalty and love and duty but by ... well I don't know what. I no longer know what the term family means.

That her blood family has separated themselves from her hurts my wife badly, a hurt she doesn't need with MS. She knows too well I have a short fuse and she won't allow me to even speak with them on the phone.
Wilf
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Lionel I am very sorry to hear that your wife has been ill with MS. Its also very unkind of her family not to call her. As we all grow older we should be more forgiving of others. Afer all maturity gives one the awareness we are not here for ever and we should all try and do our utmost to treat others kindly. If we could all do that what a better world this would be !
Lionel
22nd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes, Wilf, unkindness characterises this present world. I believe it is brought about by selfishness.

You're right again ... as we grow older we must be more forgiving of others. Someone wrote, walk a mile on their shoes before you judge them. Here you must forgive me, I'm of a Judaeo/Christian spirituality. I would care not to judge anyone outside the guidelines given in the New Testament.

That means, in short, I don't judge but love. In the Greek of the New Testament, that love is brotherly love, so I have a love for everyone, no matter what they've done, or are doing. Yes, I love them all.

Wilf, I've met some amazing people who just need to know this ... someone loved them. Love comes in surprising forms ... a bed for the night on a rainy night, a meal and a bath; a few times a person burdened with guilt pouring it all out in front of a warm fire and after a good meal.

That happens even now.

Yes, this world would be a much better place if we would but reach out in brotherly love to one another. Love the unloved, help the helpless ...

But we won't. We're now all too selfish, aren't we?
Wilf
23rd Jan 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes we are inherently selfish Lionel but I am optimistisc and think the world is getting a better place..sloooooooly! We have ruined the planet and now realise this and are trying to make good etc etc
kentrix39
18th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I think it is a thing with age you do not do what you did when you were twenty/fifty years old. We all miss the dance halls meeting the ladies and having a good night out. We do have the inclination to do things it is a case as usual of the "spirit being willing but the body lets you down" the stamina is no longer there.
I worked till I was seventy two and still miss doing what I did being out every day having figured out the night before what I was going to do for my customers.
My lady friend and I go to many places, or used to, but with things getting more and more expensive it is getting more difficult.
Wilf
18th Jan 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I have a part time job in my 60s Kentrix but to work untill 72 is good going. My father who is thankfully still alive at 89 worked until his late 70s and I think it did keep his mind and body sharp and let him meet lots of people daily.

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