Focus on the elderly and vulnerable: how to stay connected with friends

Having a disability can be isolating.  When I’m not well I can’t get out, and when I can’t get out I can’t socialise.  I don’t mean cocktail parties or dinner and dancing, just coffee with a friend and being able to talk with someone other than the cat.  I’m very aware of the similarities between myself and the elderly and vunerable, which is why I started writing this series.  I’m hoping that some of my ideas for staying connected with other people even when you can’t get out of the house will be helpful to others.

  1. Invite friends round.  Just because you can’t come to them doesn’t mean they can’t come to you.  Real friends will not mind if you’re still in your pyjamas, and will be happy to put the kettle on themselves.
  2. Get connected.  My biggest source of human interaction is my computer. Whether I’m blogging or on social media, it’s so easy to reach out to others, day or night.  I have friends all over the world and there’s always someone to talk to.
  3. Pick up the phone.  If the internet is not your thing, a quick phone call to a friend can really brighten up your day.  For people with home phones there’s no need to learn the ins and outs of social media.  You just need a cuppa and your address book.
  4. Ask for help.  In a previous post I wrote about how to engage a support worker, but if you’re not quite there yet, it’s helpful to lean on family and friends.  Getting out to your favourite place, or just going for a stroll and a chat can really shake the cobwebs out.
  5. Don’t isolate.  Though I prefer to offer advice in Do’s rather than Don’ts, this last point is so very crucial.  When you’re not feeling great it can be so easy to just stay inside and avoid the world.  I do it myself at times.  Although it’s fine to have the odd day to yourself, especially when you’re not feeling well, try not to make it a habit.  You need people around you who care.

If you have any questions, or are reading this as a friend or family member, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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