A new ‘Commission on Loneliness’ was launched in Westminster yesterday in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox: www.jocoxloneliness.org.
The commission will work with 13 organisations, including Churchill’s charity partner The Silver Line, to come up with practical ideas to combat loneliness and highlight the issue as one of national urgency.
Churchill’s Chairman & CEO Spencer McCarthy welcomed the new Loneliness Commission, saying:
"Loneliness is unfortunately a major issue in our society and one that Churchill have been working hard to raise awareness of. Last year we did a study of 1,000 retirement aged people which highlighted that over 55% think there is a stigma attached to admitting to being lonely. One in four are ‘too ashamed’ to admit their feelings to others.
"Chronic loneliness can have serious consequences for both mental and physical health, and letting go of the fear of being judged is the first step towards finding a solution. The death of a partner, decline in physical ability or distance from family members can make anyone feel isolated – but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are services like The Silver Line that specialise in listening and helping, and the more we can talk about these issues the better.
"One way to combat loneliness is to make a permanent lifestyle change. We’ve seen that Owners at Churchill Retirement Living Lodges often find living alongside like-minded neighbours provides reassurance that there is always someone nearby to chat to or have a cup of tea with. And the regular group events enable Owners to take part in a ready-made social life if they wish.
"At Churchill we want to help everyone enjoy a happy, active retirement. We want to help break down the mental barriers that loneliness can create, and help anyone who is feeling alone to change their mindset and lifestyle. We’ll be looking to support the Loneliness Commission and contribute in whatever way we can."
If you're feeling lonely or would like to find out more, you can make an appointment to visit one of our Lodges and meet our Owners and Lodge Managers, who will be able to tell you more about living in a Churchill retirement development. Please call 0800 458 1856 for more details.