Question: Are you or someone you know concerned about being lonely or isolated over the festive period?

Your feedback: Yes  73% (27 respondents) No 27% (10 respondents)

Your comments: 

“I think the built environment plays a big part in isolating those who are afraid to go out. I see this as the biggest barrier – I often just can’t be bothered. As it happens I’m active and involved in things, but I fully understand the predicament of others less able or fortunate.”

“It is not so easy for those affected by deafness to socialise in the same way as hearing people. Background noise, music etc aggravates the circumstances and the range of lighting, distractions and “visual noise” have an accumulated impact too. It can be quite overwhelming, never mind the communication challenges themselves.”

“Transport can connect us all but where i live there is no accessible transport to allow me to get out. I wouldn’t ask family or friends at this time of year so I’m pretty isolated for a few weeks and get lonely and depressed.”

“Loneliness and social isolation is not just dependent on age. I am under 30 and have discovered that social isolation is the biggest non physical symptom I have due to becoming disabled. Due to disability o was forced to move to an area where I don’t know anyone to get the right care and support but consequently know no one in the area and am housebound.  I can go weeks without seeing non medical professionals and most of my social interactions are online. All social schemes in area are for over 60s and do not cater for young disabled people.”

 “The number of people living on there own has increased over the years as people live longer. Unfortunately many people have family who have moved away because of work etc. As a result they will not see anyone on Christmas day or boxing day. Or until the shops reopen. It is also worth noting that many of the support groups are also closed over this period of time.”

“People of any age, dependent on their individual circumstances, can face both social isolation and loneliness. Example: a 47 year old woman who will face now her 4th xmas alone. No family, partner or children. Who is long term disabled with multiple disabilities. Does not celebrate the whole period really. And has just two friends who understandably have their own families to be with. She totally gets it. The loneliness I think she would confirm is the hardest. Bleak is a good word. She just describes it sadly with resignation. It is what it is. So yes, anyone can be in that position. But for elderly seniors it must be frightening. Reach out to someone if you can.”

“A good part of the problem is transport in the more rural areas. The busses that Stagecoach are using in the NE of Scotland are very poor for people with disabilities or elderly people. There are nowhere near enough accessible seats and it is not uncommon for disabled people to not be able to access the busses because there is another elderly or disabled person already on or a mother with a pram and there is no space for more. People have been left at bus stops for up to 3 hours on occasion! Thus many elderly and disabled people are simply not prepared to even try to travel.”