People can become isolated in many ways. It could be through the loss of a spouse, declining health, illness or disability or caring responsibilities, discrimination, prejudice and cultural isolation.
We understand that chronic loneliness is not only horrible to experience day in, day out, it can also have a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health.
This is a “you and me problem” and the Ageing Better programme is supporting people in communities who want to make Birmingham the best place to grow old.
Making connections with people, can change their lives (and yours) now and into the future. You can start by having simple conversations with neighbours, and try and make such conversations a habit. It could be that the person you speak to haven’t spoken to anyone else all week and by doing your bit, you’re contributing to making your neighbourhood a better place to live and grow older, for you and those around you.
Take Action Today!
- Say "Hello, how are you today?" By starting a conversation, you can help reduce social isolation in your community. Why not start a conversation about the weather/the neighbourhood cat/ the traffic/ an interest you have.
- Check in on your neighbours, do they need a hand taking out the bins? Changing a light bulb? Borrowing your tools? Clearing the patio? Gardening? Re-potting plants? Some company over a cup of tea?
- Start a local community group – it could be anything from a befriending group to a focus around an interest such as dancing, knitting, music, films, a sport. An excellent first step, is speaking to people over 50 to see what they would enjoy doing.
- Treat people how you would yourself want to be treated, with respect and understanding
- Be a good neighbour: don’t be noisy at night, keep the front of your house or apartment tidy, pick up after your dog, take delivery of parcels, be considerate of others and be observant of what’s happening on your street
- Most importantly, say hello and make conversations a habit
“If you have good neighbours, you have something special.”