What is Isolation/Loneliness?
Isolation is being separated from other people and your environment. Sometimes this is through decisions we make ourselves, or because of circumstance.
For many members of the nursing profession, leaving work due to retirement can result in them feeling isolated from colleagues and friends, often after a lifetime of service. The caring nature of the role, and responsibility for the well-being of patients, makes team-work with others even more important than in many other professions.
But for some nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, ill-health or financial hardship after leaving work can lead to them struggling even more in retirement. Serious illness or family conflicts such as an abusive marriage can add to them feeling or becoming isolated from family, friends, neighbours and former colleagues.
Causes of Isolation/Loneliness
- Losing a loved one or friend through death or relocation
- Lack of close family ties
- Living alone
- Feelings of loss or grief
- Poor physical health, frailty, mobility issues
- A mental health condition such as depression or anxiety
- Inability to participate in activities due to access issues, mobility, illness, transport
- Retirement from work, home relocation
- Language or cultural barriers, or reduced connection with your culture of origin
- Geographic isolation.
How Cavell Nurses’ Trust can help?
Cavell Nurses' Trust can step in and provide vital financial assistance or through general support and advice.
Here are some examples of where Cavell Nurses' Trust has helped someone overcome that feeling of isolation felt by retired members of the nursing, midwifery and healthcare profession.
Mrs H, Gloucestershire, 74 years old:
Cancer, a series of mini strokes and blocked arteries meant that 74 year old nurse and healthcare assistant, Mrs H, was forced to stop work in 1993. Mrs H was left with difficulty breathing and struggled to get to the doctors surgery and local shop. Feeling depressed and reclusive, staff at her hospice put her in touch with Cavell Nurses’ Trust.
We gave a regular grant of £15 a week for a year which allowed Mrs H to pay for a panic button system for her home as well as enabling her to use a ‘dial-a-ride’ service to get around. Also, a series of grants towards her gas bill helped Mrs H to meet payments that she was unable to cover. After 16 years in the nursing profession taking care of others, we were able to support Mrs H in her hour of need to regain the independence she felt she had lost.
“Words can’t express my gratitude to you. It will make such an enormous difference to my life. I will be a lot more secure.” – Mrs H
Susan, Edgbaston, 60 years old
Nurse of 35 years, Susan, discovered her husband had been leading a double life with another woman and began to feel isolated.
She had to leave her own home.
Here's some practical help
- Isolation and Loneliness can be overcome.
- Connect or reconnect with friends and family – staying in contact with loved ones can prevent loneliness and isolation. If your family don’t live nearby, technology can help you stay in touch.
- Get out and about – regular outings for social functions, exercise, visiting friends, doing shopping, or simply going to public places can help.
- Get involved in your community – Try a new (or old) hobby, join a club, enrol in study, or learn a new skill. Try looking online, at your local community College, library or community centre for things in your area that might be interesting to you.
- Volunteer – helping others is a great way to help yourself feel more connected.
- Consider getting a pet –pets are wonderful companions and can provide comfort and support during times of stress, ill-health or isolation.
- Get support – If loneliness and social isolation are causing you distress, you should discuss your concerns with a GP, counsellor or a trusted person.
We can help
If you feel isolated and can relate to any of the above situations please get in touch and speak to us today on 01527 595 999 or email us.
No one should feel alone and isolated after years of devotion to others.
Please get in touch today.
The Chester family had their lives turned...
Susan's life was turned upside down
Take a look at the other help and advice articles we have written.