Autophobia is the fear of being alone, which to a degree, most of us suffer from. Fortunately, we don’t all have feelings of loneliness, but this is not the case for millions of older people across the world.
According to Age UK, more than 2.2 million people over the age of 75 in England live alone. However, living by yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely.
Statistics on loneliness don’t change much based on age; in fact, the most significant factors that lead to loneliness are changes in someone’s life.
In younger people, loneliness can often be tied to a significant change in their environment, such as leaving school or moving to university. Whereas in the older generation, losing friends, having less mobility, and even the onset of illness can impact on how lonely someone might feel.
Cheer Up The Lonely Day was created by Francis Pesek, from Detroit, Michigan. Francis’ birthday was July 11 and, according to the story told by his daughter, he chose July 11 as an awareness day because he wanted to spend his birthday promoting kindness and love to those who needed it most.
We at Ability Superstore would like to use Cheer Up The Lonely Day to spread awareness, and hopefully give you an idea on something you can do to feel less lonely or to help someone else.
Reaching out to just one person who is feeling lonely could have a significant impact on both their physical and mental health. Something as simple and as easy as a phone call will have a positive effect.
Several charities match volunteers with a lonely and vulnerable person, enabling the pairing to have a phone call once a week. Charities who take part in this sort of initiative include: Age UK, Contact the Elderly, Independent Age and The Silver Line, amongst others.
A short conversation with someone acts as a ßcaring and social interaction that someone might not receive otherwise.
Also, you might have identified one of your friends as needing a little bit of a pick me up but haven’t been too sure what to do for them.
People of all ages appreciate a thoughtful gesture, or a small act of kindness, which can be as little as popping by for a cup of tea and a chat, (adhering to social distancing guidelines, of course!).
Cheer Up The Lonely Day is all about doing what you can to spread love and kindness, we hope you are spurred on to do something similar, I know we will.