0 Combat loneliness – together we can make a difference By The Bower Team / In Family An ongoing sense of wellbeing in later life can be attributed to key factors including: good physical health and activity levelsmental and emotional balanceparticipation in enjoyable and creative / social activities avoiding loneliness sufficient financial resourcespositive social interactions relationships and family Loneliness is something that can strike at any age but those in later years are particularly susceptible and this can often coincide during winter, Christmas and at the start of a new year. Common causes including losing a loved one, moving away from family and friends and dealing with health issues, can all contribute to a feeling of loneliness. Depression can creep up unexpectedly, so keep an eye out for symptoms such as a change in appetite and sleep patterns, feeling useless, and/or stress and anxiety, and seek medical help as soon as possible. Keep in touch with loved ones Life is busy and often we can’t spend enough times with elderly relatives but asking friendly neighbours to keep an eye out for your loved ones can give them a sense of security and valuable day-to-day connection and social interaction. If you have family and friends who are becoming increasingly insular or may seem to have less enjoyment in life, are losing weight, having memory lapses and becoming easily confused, then regular contact will help them feel valued and supported. It will also give them a chance to talk through anything that is on their mind. The importance of finding and maintaining meaningful engagement in the world around them should not be under-estimated. If living on your own it can be hard to find the enthusiasm to venture out, to try and make new friends and to find activities you want to participate in, but over time, increased isolation can result in a greater risk of low wellbeing and feelings of loneliness. This can lead to physical health problems and mental health issues, such as depression and dementia. According to The Silver Line (www.thesilverline.org.uk) a charity which offers weekly calls to people aged 55+ who would like to receive regular telephone friendship – there are over one million older people in the UK who are suffering from the pain of loneliness. Open 24/7, The Silver Line receive a call from a lonely person wanting support, advice and friendship every 2 minutes. Bower wants to help At Bower we want to help combat loneliness and in 2020, we have chosen to support The Silver Line to help raise money for these important and often life-saving, weekly calls. Just £5 will pay for a call with an elderly person who may not have spoken to another human being all week£50 will pay to recruit and train a volunteer to become a Silver Line Friend (a volunteer who makes a regular weekly call) Can you help too? There are many ways to get involved: Text donationsRecyclingGive As You Live – shopping online at supermarkets, high street stores, Amazon etc. Buy and sell with ebay for CharityLeave a gift in your Will Please share our post and follow us on social media to find out how we are planning to raise money for The Silver Line in 2020 and to see our progress – together we can make a difference.