Combating loneliness

In a pilot project with Brunelcare, Second Step supported older people in their homes with weekly 45-minute meetings involving a trained wellness adviser – in a bid to tackle loneliness.

We learned that a flexible, adaptable, personalised approach is the best way to reduce loneliness and isolation. For some people with problems such as anxiety or depression, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was used. Other people needed help using email or paying bills online, learning relaxation techniques, or support to pursue their hobbies. Some just wanted help getting out of their house and to the bus stop.

The results were positive. After over 90 sessions with the wellness advisers 55% of people said they were doing more socially, 55% said they were ‘missing people’ less, and 64% felt more optimistic. One person said: “I feel a lot more independent. I would encourage anyone to get involved as it really helped me.”

Six month follow-up questionnaires are planned for early 2018 to find out the longer-term benefits of the project.

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