Call: 0117 428 5570

Service Robotics Logo

BOOK A DEMO

Fill in this form to Book a Demo!

9 + 14 =

Mental Health Awareness Week | 9-15 May 2022

Loneliness

Imagine a world where people feel supported and connected to society. Wouldn’t that be a dream? But it is far from reality. In the UK, 1.2million older adults feel lonely and over half of disabled people reported feeling lonely, rising to over three quarters (77%) for those aged 18-34 (Sense 2017).

Our goal is powerful: a connected society. Where loneliness is recognised and acted on without stigma or shame so that we all look out for one another. To get there requires society-wide change. 

The Loneliness Impact

Feeling lonely can also have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time. Some research suggests that loneliness is associated with an increased risk of certain mental health problems, including depressionanxietylow self-esteemsleep problems and increased stress. 

The impact also extends into your overall health, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease progression
  • Decreased memory and learning
  • Cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Altered brain function
  • Depression and suicide
  • Increased stress levels

It’s estimated that between 5% and 18% of UK adults feel lonely often or always. And when we feel socially rejected, it triggers a response in our brain similar to one from experiencing physical pain.

 

The most vulnerable

Some research suggests that people who live in certain circumstances, or belong to particular groups, are more vulnerable to loneliness. For example, if you:

  • Have no friends, family are estranged or part of social groups
  • A single parent or carer who finds it hard to maintain a social life
  • Belong to minority groups and live in an area without diversity
  • Experience discrimination and stigma because of a disability or long-term health problem
  • Have experienced sexual or physical abuse – forming close relationships with other people is harder
  • Are excluded from social activities due to mobility problems or a shortage of money

What is loneliness?

Loneliness is not the same as social isolation. People can be isolated (alone) yet not feel lonely. People can be surrounded by other people, yet still feel lonely. 

Feelings of loneliness are personal

One common description of loneliness is the feeling we get when our need for rewarding social contact and relationships is not met. But loneliness is not always the same as being alone. 

You may choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people, while others may find this a lonely experience. Or you may have lots of social contact, or be in a relationship or part of a family, and still feel lonely – especially if you don’t feel understood or cared for by the people around you.

What is social isolation?

Social isolation is an objective measure of the number of contacts that people have. It is about the quantity and not quality of relationships. People may choose to have a small number of contacts. 

When they feel socially isolated, this can be overcome relatively quickly by increasing the number of people they are in contact with. 

Social isolation can lead to loneliness and loneliness can lead to social isolation. Both may also occur at the same time.

Being physically present in a community does not equate to people with a learning disability feeling connected with the community or accepted. One in three people with a learning disability spend less than one hour outside their home on a average Saturday, reported a study by Mencap, 2019.

When they do get here, they’re in such a hurry that they can’t complete the time they’ve got allocated to spend with my parents, so they might cut things short

Anonymous

Combat Care Worker Loneliness

The increasing demand for care workers has often come at a high personal expense, leaving carers not only exhausted and burnt-out but increasingly worried about the future.

And it’s not just the care worker’s themselves who are impacted – so too are the people they care for.

Loneliness is something we will all probably experience in our lifetimes. It’s part of being human. 

 

Spending time alone is also good for your well-being. Developing the ability to feel comfortable in your own company has the potential to increase self-awareness and resilience.

Fundamentally, it’s about maintaining the balance between enjoying time alone and being socially and emotionally connected.

How can we support others who we suspect might be struggling with loneliness and isolation?

It’s not always clear when someone is struggling or what you can do to be supportive. Be mindful of changes in people’s behaviour, for example, becoming withdrawn or not wanting to be sociable. Don’t underestimate the power of a conversation by offering a listening ear and your presence.

Top tips:

Check-in and let people know that you care.

Contact for a chat or catch up over a cuppa can positively affect.

Listen intently.

Paraphrase what you’re hearing so that the person knows that you are listening and understanding.

Ask open and compassionate questions.

Promote getting professional help.

Two adults baking with Genie

Follow us on social media to get access to daily tools to combat loneliness

Starting the 9th of May until the 15th May

GenieConnect® is combating loneliness

Creating the foundation of inclusion and companionship

The Loneliness Epidemic

Understanding The Effect On Older Adults

Loneliness and social isolation are increasing public health concerns in our ageing community. Whilst these experiences materialise across the life span, 50% of people aged over 60 are at risk of social isolation, and one-third will experience loneliness later in life. Read the report to discover new ways to combat loneliness.

Lady with Genie health check in
GenieConnect remote care video calls with care worker

The Loneliness Epidemic

Understanding The Effect On People With Learning Disabilities

Up to 55% of people with a learning disability experience chronic loneliness. Loneliness is unique, and experiences will affect people differently, but there are some key drivers of loneliness that we can pinpoint for people with learning disabilities. Download the report to learn more.

What GenieConnect® Users Have to Say

Meet Margaret

GenieConnect® User

Genie asks me how I am feeling, and it feels like someone is present here

Challenges

  • MIncreased loneliness
  • MSon unable to visit often

Wins

  • NHealth check-ins
  • NRegular calls with her Son

Meet Michael

Care Manager

The possibilities are literally endless, we’re excited to be at the forefront of innovation using technology to keep people connected and help bring the next revolution to our sector.

Challenges

  • MScarce resources
  • MDigital inequalities

Wins

  • NBetter care delivery
  • NFaster adoption rate

Meet Alan

Son

I have tried to get dad to use his iPad for Facetime, but he struggles with all the different buttons – Genie is easy for him to use and he knows how to use it

Challenges

  • MJob with long hours
  • MFeeling guilty

Wins

  • NRegular contact
  • NTrusts care provider
Caring for our care workers PDF

Enter the new era to care quality

Download the PDF

We are highlighting the vital role care workers play in our communities and the challenges they face. Our goal is to show care workers the recognition they deserve and amplify their voice.

As seen in

itv news logo
Home Care Insights Logo
Open Access Government Logo
Health Care Digital Logo
Daily Express Logo

Friendships are essential to people with a learning disability

Friendships improve happiness, joy and self-confidence

An wholesome social life will enable people to feel happier, included and part of society.

Addressing the impacts of loneliness and care worker overwhelm are some of society’s biggest challenges. This is not the responsibility of one organisation, but rather a collective role many industry providers can all play to shape better quality care.

Be the pioneer who wants to shape the future of care delivery

Book a demo with our team today or request access to the 4-minute taster video

You will learn:

  • 5How GenieConnect® will benefit your clients and workforce
  • 5How to use the Care Portal to quickly set up the team, assign Remote Care visits, and schedule healthcare checks
  • 5The simplicity of the Companion App for the care worker, health and social care providers, family and friends
  • 5Older adults experience of GenieConnect® and how they use the digital companion daily

Catch up on the latest news

Robots have a positive effect on independent living

Robots have a positive effect on independent living

As part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week focusing on combating loneliness, we partnered with Cornwall Housing to promote the positive effect GenieConnect® can have on people living independently. Cornwall Housing Ltd has signed a 12-month deal with us to...

read more

Invest In Us

We’ve teamed up with Crowdcube, and you can invest from as little as £10. Help us transform the lives of the vulnerable for greater independence and wellness.

Why it matters now?

GenieConnect® is a solution whose time has come, in a rapidly growing Technology Enabled Care market, with commercial traction proving the value of our business.

UK digital healthcare market valued at an estimated £2.9bn.