Loneliness can affect anyone, but people with disabilities may be more vulnerable and need extra support.
Although certain life events such as retirement or bereavement can trigger loneliness for anyone, according to research from the British Red Cross, people with disabilities ‘often face barriers in daily life that can make them more likely to be chronically lonely than non-disabled people’.
National disability charity Sense says that ‘up to 50 per cent of disabled people will be lonely on any given day’.
Mental health charity Mind has published useful information about how to cope with loneliness, with practical suggestions about what to do and where to go for support.
The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness is a national government initiative, which aims to address the impact loneliness has on so many different sections of society, including people with disabilities. It focuses on the positive action we can all take to recognise loneliness, build connections and help ourselves and/or others. Find out more about the project, including volunteering opportunities to support vulnerable people in your community.
WaveLength is a national charity that aims to combat loneliness by giving TVs and radios to vulnerable and isolated people who live in poverty.
Loneliness may not only affect the person with the disability, it can also be experienced by whoever cares for them. According to Carers UK, 8 out of 10 carers feel isolated. The Carers Trust have useful advice about tackling loneliness among carers. Find out more about services for about carers in Devon.
Mencap has specific information about the importance of friendships and social life for people with learning disabilities.
National charity Hft also has some excellent information and advice about friendships and dating for people with learning disabilities.