As a society we know that more people are feeling isolated and lonely than ever before, the reason are many and varied but the outcome is the same.

Without exception when I have the first contact with a grandparent on the phone or email, they always say,”Thank goodness I am not alone.”

If you are denied contact from a member of your family be it a child or grandchild it is a very lonely place to be.

Loneliness affects us mentally and physically, which is why there is a big push in the health service with GP’s and health practitioners becoming much more aware of isolation and loneliness.

The experts say that we are more susceptible to depression, which is somewhat obvious but also that we may well begin to not take such good care of ourselves, not eating properly, skipping meals and not having a healthy diet, not getting out and being physically inactive. This can have a knock on affect on our heart, and our immune system according to research.

If we are aware of how being lonely can be so devastating to our health we then need to look at what can we do about it?

The situation we find ourselves in of this ‘living bereavement,’ has in all probability been caused by the actions of someone else, we can do little to address that but what we are in control of is where we go next.

I have always said that joining a support group has huge benefits and I stand by that but I also know that you can be in a room full of people and still be desperately lonely.

We need to be even more proactive.

Being part of a support group maybe not enough for you, you need to become the supporter, by actively supporting someone who is sad and lonely benefits you as well. It makes you feel better about yourself, it proves, if you need proof, that you are a valued member of society that people actually feel better by you being in their life.

Today, as they say, is a new day it could be the start of you going forward and offering your hand to steady someone else.

Go on give it a try.

Jane