Loneliness and isolation can be common issues for SCI people at any age but as you get older, or if you lose your long term partner it can be an increasingly daunting and difficult prospect to go out and make new friends. Age UK has recently started to tackle issues of isolation in the ageing population by developing a befriending service. The service works by assigning each older person a befriender, who provides friendly and regular conversation and long term companionship. Age UK say ”The relationship developed, not only promotes wellbeing and confidence, but can also help people in later life to remain independent in their own homes”.
For those that are unable to leave the house regularly, friendships can also be built using online resources such as SIA’s SCI Community Chat Room. Here regular conversation is promoted in a safe environment, as well as more in depth discussions on problematic areas such as bladder management and travel. The Chat Room is open each day, but is hosted on Wednesday and Sunday evening from 8.00pm.
SIA’s SCI Community Chat Room can be accessed at: http://www.spinal.co.uk/page/chat-room
Or, if you any concerns about issues relating to ageing or isolation please call SIA’s Free Advice Line on 0800 980 0501
For more information about AGE UK’s Befriending Service, or their ‘Call Time’ telephone service, please visit: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/relationships-and-family/befriending-services-combating-lonelines