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 depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep 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
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
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.
Check-in and let people know that you care.
Contact for a chat or catch up over a cuppa can positively affect.
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.
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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.
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.
Enter the new era to care quality
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
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
British Red Cross research highlights the huge impact of the pandemic on loneliness – it states, "41% of UK adults feel lonelier since the start of lockdown and millions are going a fortnight without having a meaningful conversation". The COVID-19 pandemic has...
53% of disabled people report feeling lonely, rising to 77% for young disabled peopleIsolation and loneliness have been identified as particularly acute for people with learning disabilities. The causes of loneliness are also complex. There can be challenges to...
1.4 million older people in the UK are often lonely. Loneliness is a significant problem that is now widely acknowledged today. [age uk] Loneliness and social isolation are growing public health concerns, particularly within older adults. Whilst these experiences...
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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.