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Loneliness - A Very British Affliction

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are lonely and cut off from society in this country, especially those over the age of 75. 
According to age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone and more than a million older people say that they can go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbor or family member.
People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older and weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the death of spouses and friends or though disability or illness.
I am the youngest of four children and the only one who lived within easy reach of my parents as they aged. My siblings all relocated through work and when my father died, it was left to me to fill his shoes and ensure that mom didn't become socially isolated. She had never learnt to drive and although she still had a few friends locally, she didn't fell confident at first to go out alone.
It wasn't until her eyesight failed in her late nineties, a problem which when combined with her deafness left her unable to see the television screen or make sense of the programmes, that mom began to express her loneliness. The TV had kept her company through the hours of darkness for twenty years. Now she sat alone - in silence.
Yesterday I was watching The Daily Politics show: They were discussing government plans to withdraw free TV licences for the over 75s.Apparently, former Chancellor George Osborne snuck that money saving plan under the radar. It is a ludicrous idea. Surely it would be better to means test households and allow the poorest and most isolated in our populace to have a free license. Surely a free license is far more cost effective that treatment for depression or admission to a nursing home.
How strange that the same government that wants to strip the elderly of company and entertainment has recently appointed a Minister for Loneliness.  I wonder whether the role of such an office is to work out how to rid society of the lonely rather than to solve the problem of loneliness. I dread to think. For many older people, the characters in soap operas are their friends - programmes like Strictly come Dancing are their Saturday night treats - the news programmes are their only contact with the outside world. It would simply be wrong to deny the elderly such important social contact.
Loneliness - A very British affliction

I never thought it could be so hard,  I never thought it could would hurt so much,  I never thought I could cry inside.
I never thought I would your miss your smile or the tenderness in your eyes,  I never thought you would leave me,  I thought you were mine. 
I miss our weekly shopping trips,  I miss the things we shared,  I miss our meals together,  I miss brushing your hair. 
I miss the sound of your laughter, I miss the touch of your hand,  I miss all the love that you gave me,  You would always understand.
I never thought I could feel so lonely,  I never thought it could be so hard,  I never thought you would leave me, I never thought you would die.
Thanks for reading. Adele   Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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