Home is Not Home When You’re Lonely
In England, 45% of adults have reported having feelings of loneliness - that’s 25 million people – and throughout the rest of the UK many more have felt the effects of being lonely too. Coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing measures would see this number rise, as people are forced to isolate and stay indoors. 35% of adults in the UK are concerned that their feelings of loneliness will only worsen in isolation without the company of loved ones.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic swept the nation, more than half a million older people reported going at least 5 or 6 days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone, and 3.9 million have admitted that the television is their main source of company.
Mary*, like so many of our elders, has struggled with loneliness since the death of her husband Charlie.
Mary is all alone
During the first national lockdown, Mary turned 75 years old. She has lived a rich and happy life that has left her with many joyful memories. But now, memories are all Mary has.
Recently, Mary’s husband Charlie passed away and she has been isolated in her home, all alone without anyone to comfort her. She often reminisces about her time with Charlie, telling stories about when he threw his back out carrying her into the kitchen or the time he serenaded her on the guitar in their living room. It was no Rolling Stones concert, but in a way it was better because it was her Charlie making music that would play in her memories forever.
Speaking of these fond memories brings a smile to Mary’s face but when she speaks of Charlie, she regularly speaks to an empty room. Her children and grandchildren live far away, and it’s been weeks since she has heard a kind word or warm welcome.
Mary lives alone and being vulnerable to COVID-19 means that she rarely leaves the house anymore. This year, Mary spent her birthday alone and now she will spend Christmas and the rest of the winter by herself.
With no one but the TV and her memories to keep her company, Mary is having a hard time coping on her own. It used to be her and Charlie against the world but now as she goes to bed alone each night, Mary can’t help but feel completely and wholly alone.
Help keep Mary safe
This winter, Penny Appeal are reaching out to let lonely people like Mary know that they do not have to struggle on their own – help is available. Our Coronavirus Listening Line is active 7 days a week to answer calls and listen to those who are struggling with isolation and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We are also providing those in need with access to confidential counselling sessions to help alleviate loneliness this season.
You can help Mary and others just like her this season by supporting our UK Winter Emergency appeal. With your help, we can be there for those in need.
WEDNESDAY 30 DEC 2020