Be well connected
Loneliness is bad for your health
Many housing organisations promote a range variety of health and wellbeing initiatives that might include exercise classes, healthy eating initiatives, some HAs promote initiatives that seek to keep people connected to others in their communities and reduce social isolation.
Some of these initiatives are recorded in short films and feature on this page of the website. These films capture the range of work being done in rural and urban areas, in community controlled housing associations as well as those working with elderly people and some not so old.
Chronic loneliness impacts on anxiety, sleep quality, increased blood pressure - increasing risk of heart disease and developing dementia, suppression of the immune system. It can be predictive of suicide, increased use of A&E services and medication." Professor Sabina Brennan | Trinity College Dublin
- Forgewood Housing Co-operative-The Aces
The ACES group brings together older persons from the Forgewood, Motherwell area and wider community to learn new skills, from weaving to IT. The group meets weekly in Forgewood Housing Co-operative’s new community centre. As well as picking up new skills, the ACES pick up new friends and contacts during their sessions.
- LinkLiving-The Friendship Café
Keeping people connected is a particular challenge for people living in rural areas. LinkLiving, a subsidiary company of Link Housing Association, with support from Fife Council, set up this weekly café session for people aged 40 and over living in old mining villages in West Fife. In this short video participants talk about how they look forward to the café every week and how it has helped keep them connected.
- Queens Cross Housing Association-The Stag Group and the Cyber Seniors
Queens Cross HA (QCHA), in the north of Glasgow, surveyed its 4,000 tenants to help it design its services for the coming years. What it found was that many of its tenants were isolated and lonely, which had a profound effect on their health.
In response, QCHA established a range of services designed to keep its tenants connected to neighbours and the wider community. In this film we hear from tenants at one of QCHA’s sheltered housing developments how working with children from a local secondary school has helped them develop IT skills so they can keep in touch with family members through social media. We also hear from the Stag Group – a men`s group that meets weekly to participate in a range of activities that keep men connected to friends and neighbours.
- Linstone HA-Belmar Court
Linstone HA realised some time ago that many of the tenants in one of its multi-storey blocks were becoming socially isolated and lonely, with some of the tenants saying they never saw their immediate neighbours let alone knew who they were. To help tenants keep connected, Linstone converted a ground floor flat into community space to give tenants a place to meet and get involved in a range of different activities and events.
In this film of Belmar Court in Linwood, we hear from residents how important the community flat has become to them, enabling them to keep connected to their neighbours and community.
- Eildon HA-Duns, Scottish Borders
Keeping people connected in a rural area is challenging enough, but when residents have a learning disability it is even more difficult.
In this film, Eildon HA explains how it works with residents in Duns in the Scottish Borders to keep connected with their community and help maintain their health.
Loneliness and Social Isolation-A GPs view
As part of this series of films, Dr Peter Cawston, a GP in Drumchapel, talks about his increasing awareness of the part loneliness and social isolation play in his patients’ outcomes, and how the housing sector can make a difference.