Coping with loneliness

Caring full-time for a loved one can be intensely lonely. Over the months and years, everything narrows down and focuses on their needs. You may feel your life isn’t your own any more. Perhaps you have given up work and have lost touch with friends and family. Some carers say their life seems meaningless because it’s all about the person they care for. They feel selfish for missing time with friends and a social life.

Are you lonely in your role as carer for your parent or a relative? How do you cope? What do you do to combat loneliness? Share your experience and solutions with others on the Forum.

Best wishes,

SimplyHealth Care for Life team

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7 Replies

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  • Agree it is very isolating and lonely. But it is very important to have a support structure and keep interests but so hard to organise from a practical level if the person cannot be left alone. I love reading and have joined a Book Club - we have a Facebook page so if the time comes when I cannot get, I can still stay in contact with the group. I also have my beloved cats who are my best friends in the world. I have a Carer Befriender who phones every couple of weeks and to whom I can have a good moan! But yes, even with this support, I still find myself feeling very isolated.

  • Leonora -- You mention a Carer Befriender and I'd be interested in hearing what they do when they phone you. It sounds helpful. I assume you are in the UK. I'm in the U.S. and no longer taking care of someone, but like to keep current on possibilities for caregivers I meet.

  • It gives me basically a chance to offload Jaykay. My husband is a difficult man and I dare not ask for a social worker as I feel it would make things worse. So the Befriender does help me 'think outside the box' and at times reminds me that to care for someone else, I have to take care of myself. It is basically so easy to get caught up in caring - and frankly we have no family or close friends so isolation is a problem. My Befriender is pretty 'au fait' with how the social care system works in the UK. I do have friends but need someone more objective and also do not want to burden or worry my friends as several have their own problems. Hope this clarifies?

  • Leonora-- The befriender sounds like much-needed and valuable resource.

  • One bright item in my life - I learned to play the card game bridge, the only time my mother is not in my head is when I log in and play bridge on line....I have a glass of wine (or two), and am completely happy for a couple of hours. As for my friends - I am the one who has lost touch, I am the one who cannot cope with their so called carefree and full lives, I am happy for them, but because I feel so down I dont want to pass this on to them.

  • von60 -- Although I don't play cards, when I was a caregiver I benefitted from logging in and researching things I don't really need to know. I still do. The Internet is a wonderful world in itself.

  • My son has put his life on hold in order to care for me. I am very worried about this, as he has only ever had one seasonal job. He would like to become a Metalworker, a traditional Blacksmith (Not a Horse Chiropodist! ;)), but now at 27 he's too old for a traditional apprenticeship, and I cannot afford college courses for him. We

    exist on my pension and small amount of DLA.

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