Coping with Loneliness and Isolation in Later Life

lonely man with head in hand

Coping with loneliness and isolation is certainly possible, nobody needs to suffer alone, but loneliness does affect people differently and will require a change in mindset that some people will find easier than others.

Loneliness and isolation can happen to anyone and strike at any time for an infinite number of reasons.  It’s not related to any particular age group, demographic or gender, but there is an alarming trend that highlights that older people are suffering the most.

This is backed up by a study from AgeUK that revealed approximately 3.9 million older people living in the UK alone said that their television is their main source of company.  Can you imagine what that figure is worldwide? – I dread to think…

So, what can be done to combat feeling lonely?

Rather than list ways of coping with loneliness, I instead put the question to our Senior Chatters community – here as some of their stories.  Some are inspirational, some are motivating and some are cries for help.

Important!  After reading this Blog (it’s a long one), please post a comment in the comment section below and share it on social media.  If we can help just one person it will be a worthwhile exercise

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time and contributed – I’ve been blown away with all the responses.

Coping with Loneliness and Isolation in Later Life
Senior Chatters Stories

Hi Rob. An interesting and often overlooked subject. Yes I do get lonely although at 67 I do not consider myself old!  My problem is that my husband has dementia. Although I am blessed with many loyal friends ( mostly female) I miss the company of my husband, and the company of men in general. I fill my free time with dog walking and my girlfriends company, but would love to have a reason to dress up, to eat out, or just to go to a pub occasionally.

I would try to extend my circle of friends by joining local clubs that might interest me. I’d hopefully get out and about as much as possible to release the happy endorphin’s and, last but definitely not least, enjoy my membership with Senior Chatters.  If ever I feel down a good natter with my online friends soon improves my mood and brightens up my day.

Coping with loneliness in later life starts with attitude. You can be in a crowd and feel lonely if someone you want to be with isn’t there. You need to have an attitude of being in the moment and knowing you are exactly where you are meant to be.  Look forward to new experiences and expect to learn something new from everyone you meet. Be interested in other people and not just your own world. By interacting with other people you may be able to help them with something on their journey.

Helping might be part of your destiny. Enjoy the ride, don’t take life too seriously and share things that make your life easier. Don’t burden people with your feelings of loneliness. Have fun and everyone will enjoy the party too

“Loneliness” – I’m not very good at that because I’ve never been a lonely type and am not in old age either.  So I ask myself why is it that I don’t experience loneliness?  The only answer I can think of is that my faith involves a daily experience of inspiration and creativity which enlivens me on any given day and is quite like a cozy hearth fire warming the center of my being at all times.

I actually wouldn’t want anyone else here with me except when there’s trouble brewing of some kind and then I’d love to have a shoulder to lean on and a strong chest to collapse onto to vent my sorrows.

So my suggestion on coping with loneliness and isolation would be to submerge one’s self in one or two beloved activities that are of the growing kind – that is to say creative endeavors which are open ended in terms of learning and developing.

Many factors need to be considered in responding to the question “coping with loneliness in later life.” Some need only one or a few number of friends with whom they have a deep personal relationship. Others feel better having many friends but knowing these friends with less depth. Living conditions determine to a degree also the number and depth of relationships. One way to beat Loneliness is to satisfy the individual’s needs for friendship.

A second way to beat loneliness is in later life is to keep busy with hobbies. This not only keeps one alert but gives something to share and to talk about with others.

A third possibility is to exercise frequently if not daily. In addition to keeping the body as fit as possible the whole person is helped by this exercise routine.

Another way to beat loneliness is to reach out to others. Sending Birthday Cards to relatives and friends or just writing with no special occasion in mind is positive. Using the computer to stay in contact is an excellent tool.

 Feeling lonely is something I am struggling with now.  My life exploded with tragedies which has caused many issues in life.  I have 3 kids all adults living in different states – this is something I hadn’t planned on. I hoped they would remain close so we could be nearer.  I am having a problem deciding where I should live.  There are many issues in that decision. At 57 it’s frightening being alone.  My kids say mom just make new friends, but people have their lives established and it’s difficult.  But I am working on rebuilding life.. I do have my kids and grand kids but I want my life too.

I would love to be able to speak with others like me.  If there was a place to meet others with the same needs I’m sure it would be wonderful.

You must find a way to stay positive and seek out what you need.  And first you have to be happy and comfortable with who you are. I found that along the way of raising my family I somehow lost myself.  I became someone’s wife and was called my kids mom.  I really have struggled to find who I have become. Working on myself I am trying new things, branching myself out in anything that grabs my interest. Also, I am going to join the red cross. I’m a RN and have wanted to assist in tragedies. Helping the homeless in this area, and volunteering with dog rescue are things I really want to be involved in.  Putting effort in to these things helps me feel like I am truly finding my place in life.  It is a struggle someday’s, but I know wonderful things are coming.

My advice on coping with loneliness in later life would be, first and foremost, to get out as much as possible.  Even small things like a trip to the local library, or a bus ride into town for a look around and a coffee would give the feeling of being with people.

Sometimes one can have a conversation. It doesn’t have to be about rocket science.  Even the very ordinary folk have their story to tell.  Some people find comfort and company in their local church. I think there are a lot more opportunities, possibilities to mix socially, than here in Germany.

I found myself widowed 12 years ago, aged 58, and the first years were rough. A year later I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to go through the procedure on my own, without the support and love of my husband.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I got through the treatment, my hair started to grow again, and I knew I had to make an effort to start living again. I travelled alone, within my possibilities, bed and breakfast in England, flying over from different airports and getting to know and use, the erratic bus services in GB.

Here in Germany I would take myself off to the afternoon session at a cinema, so as to be home before dark. I would go on buses and trams to different parts of the city, that I didn’t know, have lunch somewhere, and then come home.  I realise of course, that it all depends on mobility, and my heart goes out to those who are restricted in that way. But again, I praise the social kindness that is in England. It is just not to be found here,although some would disagree.

After five years living alone I had a relationship with a Dutchman, also widowed. It lasted six years, although it meant over 300 kilometres for him to travel, to see me. He decided that it couldn’t go on any longer,so we separated.  A year ago I met a widowed ex policeman, and we are happy together.  We don’t live together, we both have lovely homes and neither wants to give up their home yet. We will see how things go. Well this is my story, a bit longer than I intended. I would advise people living alone to go out and about and try your hardest to make the best out of life, take the ups and downs as they come.  They are a fact of life. Best wishes from JanieLee.

With a stick, how else does one beat anything! As you can see I think humor helps, aside from humor, I would say if you can go places and  meet other people.  It helps if you are interested in hearing people’s stories. Listening to others talk gives you a connection to them it forms a bond, which in my thinking is the beginning of feeling less lonely.

Interestingly I am dealing with this problem at this time.  I have 2 grown children, but my son moved to Roanoke Virginia, so I do not see him often. We do Skype often and that does help.  I have a daughter with manic depression (on meds and doing well) and rheumatoid arthritis.  She does the best she can to set some time aside for me, but I am frequently lonely, as I always had people in my house, and now it is empty.

I also have 9 nieces and nephews, who were always here celebrating holidays and birthdays. Now it is as if I do not exist. I don’t understand this. People will tell you “WELL ” THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LIVES NOW”, but so did I when they were growing up. I had to work full time and raise my own children, but they were always here for parties and such. So I do not buy that line of thinking.

I have started reaching out to groups and have been very lucky to find some great people. I have joined some clubs for knitting and crocheting and even a group called “Homemakers” where we do do some adult crafts and have lots of laughs. There is even a church group I have joined.  We served community dinners.  These are my suggestions so far.

 Rob, I could write a whole library on loneliness and there is just nothing you can do to change it unfortunately,I have travelled and seen so many different countries, been on cruises too all very nice but always alone so not really much fun when all you want is to have that someone special to love who loves you back, never happened so have given up hoping,would be great if there was somewhere near that people say over 6o could just meet up and get together, is there anywhere? well not in Bridgwater, wish there was an answer to this problem because being so lonely is no fun at all, don`t think there is any answer to this and if there is please let me know.

 Loneliness when living alone can be a real problem, for anyone, really, but especially as you become older as you are not as physically active as you once were (or not able to be).  My experience with loneliness stems from a few things. My husband passed away far too young which meant I was back to being single very early in life.  I could have remarried but never had the good luck to find somebody like my husband again.  This also meant that we did not have children as our plan was to become established financially and then have children.  We waited too long and never factored in that one of us could leave this earth so soon.

So, over the many years since, I linked up with my mother who had gone through a divorce from my stepfather and we shared a house together. I was always very close to her so it was no hardship. In fact, it was fun and we became good friends as well as mother and daughter. We had many laughs together.  She passed away in 2006 and it was really the first time I had been on my own for any lengthy period of time.  I had travelled and worked overseas in the interim but I always had our home to come back to.

This new period was when I felt loneliness.  I pined for the things that had never been, children and then grandchildren, other members of my family who had passed and, of course, my mother.  I fell into a very deep grief which lasted about three years.  I had a half-sister who I had never had a good relationship with and each time we met, we clashed as our personalities were so different and our experiences were so different, so we kept pretty clear of one another, especially when my mother died.  She did not grieve as I did and I found that insufferable.

However, once I mastered my grief and learned to live with it, I started to get to know my half-sister better.  It took a lot of time and neither of us tried particular hard to overcome our differences but we did just begin to appreciate each other’s qualities over about ten years.  It took that long! I now see her often.  I guess you could say we gave each other a second chance.

The other thing that happened was that I had searched most of my life for my father who I had never met except when I was a baby.  During my grieving period, I decided to try and find him and contacted the Salvation Army Lost Persons Bureau.  They found him for me and I started to correspond with him; I, in Australia, and he still in the UK.  I eventually went over to meet him which was wonderful.

He passed away shortly after my visit which made me realise how precious time can be.  As a side piece, he told me all about his sister who lived in Lisbon and her daughters. I managed to find my auntie and we communicated by letter and phone for a couple of years, which was lovely.  She introduced me to her daughters who are roughly around my age or a little younger. My auntie died two years ago but the email relationship with her daughters has continued and we now consider ourselves good friends as well as cousins!

So, looking back, life can never been the same as before, no, but if you look hard enough, you can cobble together a new life.  My cousins have grown up children and grandchildren and I do get the odd twinge of wishing that could be me, too, but we have such laughs in our emails that I am just grateful for their friendship.  I don’t know if there is anything in this that could be helpful to others, Rob, but that’s my story (very much summarised).

 As I’m not retired I’m too busy to be lonely. I’m also a person that needs and enjoys time alone. However, I think it’s important to keep in touch with friends and family and to be a good friend because in being a good friend you have friends to share joys as well as sorrows and you avoid loneliness.

 How do I beat loneliness? This is a tough question to answer without writing a mini novel. My partner in life, he passed away suddenly and I found myself heartbroken, lost and very much alone in the world. To this very day the evenings are the most difficult to conquer. I could go on endlessly on this topic, but I’ll make it short. I found Senior Chatters and it became my evening, home away from home, my evening, escape from the silent, lonely vacuum and into a fun filled worry free online chat world. A mental trip away from reality. Although I’m still alone in this world, this site is how I attempt to beat my loneliness.

 Having never lived alone until my divorce 16 years ago, it was an extreme shock to my system. Night time was the worst – I heard every creak and grown of the old house I had bought from the settlement, and it was difficult to get any sleep – I would actually cry myself to sleep, until, determined as I was to live alone, I berated myself for being so stupid, and I bought a puppy – I was not lonely from that day forward. I also joined some local Groups, including an over 50s exercise group, which I attended for several years until the demon osteoarthritis took over and required several surgeries, the most recent on 16th October this year. Being alone and lonely are two different things. I enjoy my alone times to do what I want to do – I do a fair bit of reading, and Senior Chatteres happened for me at one of my most down times (I have depression) and without it and the wonderful friends I found here, I don’t think I would be here today. Having said that, as one gets older one realizes what the important things are in life. I have the most wonderful friends on and off line, and even though I don’t see them too often, I know they are there for me when needed. Before my divorce, I was so busy working etc that I didn’t have time for myself. But I have made up for that and have found “myself”, and I like who I am. The one thing I do miss not having a partner is a warm hug of reassurance that all is going to be okay, and I felt this more after each surgery, but now I’m okay with it. Each time I get home from hospital I have the most wonderful greeting from my little dog who just can’t stop kissing me.

 Keep learning, learning, learning means to me to keep my mind going. Once perfect place to learn about different mentalities is to me Senior Chatters with various groups.

 I remember two instances where I was struggling with feeling lonely. The first time was when my first wife was sleeping beside me.  It must have been during the day and maybe when we were first married.  I remember being so alone even though she was next to me.  She could have been sick but I can only remember the feeling.

The second time was when my wife took our two daughters and the dog for a weekend at a cottage where she had worked all summer.  It was only a few kilometers away but I remember being so lonely at the house. I guess the silence was too much to bear; I was used to a lot of noise. Then I could add the time after the divorce which was a time where I had no focus on life.  When I think about it now, I felt most lonely when I was feeling ‘not needed’. The miracle that changed my life was the birth of my first granddaughter.  Suddenly everything came back in focus for me.  Since I’ve been on Senior Chatters, I have had help from a member a few years back. I appreciate the chats that we had and it was needed at the time.  As many members say, Senior Chatters is a good place to be if you feel lonely. It is a friendly place.

 I don’t often feel lonely, though I have lived on my own for 8 years now. I have family living close by, I have been a member of a small private forum for many years, and have met them all several times. I joined Senior Chatters to make new friends.

 Having led a very full out of doors lifestyle for the first 40 or so years of my life when there was never enough hours in the day to accommodate all my activities, becoming increasingly house bound has indeed been a process of learning, acceptance and adapting these past 30+ years.  Initially after very many Hospital admissions and cancer treatment loneliness never became part of my scene, for as soon as I was strong enough to live a little, I threw myself head first into Voluntary work.

First promoting the County`s first Cancer Support group, being there and ready to share in the trauma of others, uplifting on those days of a bleak diagnoses, or further treatments, days when some felt like handing in the towel, and indeed on days when the group faced yet another death. That then whetted my appetite to go a few steps further in reaching out to these needy dear ones and on meeting a like minded colleague,in time, through sheer hard work and a lot of diligent planning, getting people on our side, going cap in hand to companies whom could and would donate generously, my great desire for my county.  A Cancer Centre was eventually formed.

This required more hours than we could give and kept us busy from dawn to dusk, there was no time for loneliness, just energy to keep on going and giving!! However, when my colleague lost her battle and my own health was again fast deteriorating there came that dreaded time when I had to walk away from my active duty at this Cancer Centre, although still able to keep in touch, it just did not quite fit the gap that was now forming in my life. It was then I returned to College to learn the rudiments of computing, which in turn brought me into discovering these Forums ,and now although more bed bound than house bound, whilst not Hospitalised, it still gives me a modicum of connection with the world.

I have formed several groups/threads in differing Forums so that I have more than enough activity to fill every lonely corner, I run a Cancer and Life threatening thread which has brought much solace to many sufferers. But for me personally, I have made a whole new batch of lovely friends the world over,especially here on Senior Chatters.and I can truly say, hand on heart, I have no time to be lonely.

 Loneliness is a concept I have never understood as I have always been a loner. I am introverted and do not relate well to people at all. Part of the reason for this is that I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I prefer my own company.

 I can get lonely mostly at weekends, as a home carer to my husband, I’m OK in the week because I have places to go and I have my little granddaughter 3 times a week and she keeps me sane. He unfortunately is quite housebound.

 Very rarely I get lonely, you just have to keep your mind active be grateful for all you have re: family.  One thing I do miss is being closer to my grandkids; my husband and I seemed to be working most of the time when they were young making a better life for everyone, but would have preferred the way my gran was, really family orientated, close, you could feel the love and she struggled to raise her family.   I’m afraid you have to try and enjoy life as much as you can.  I had one close friend from school days that I have lost and also my husband died suddenly.  Yes one does get lonely.

 I work night shifts in a job where I see no-one, so I speak to no-one, I come home to no-one so speak to no-one, when I am off work I go to the shop and apart from someone saying “would you like a bag” and me responding with “no thanks” I speak to no-one. I am the invisible man. There is no point in me walking into a pub or a drink or a meal as I know no-one and the experience is uncomfortable. But after being like this for over 30 years I am used to it and if someone happens to speak to me I struggle to remember how to speak. On the plus side if I ever got washed up on a desert island it would not affect me in the least.

 Well i get more lonely as the days go by. I moved to Texas 11 years ago because I thought the man I was with wanted me. But he only wanted a person to take care of his house and cook, and take care of his two daughters that have mental problems.  He says that what women are here to take care of a man and the home. I want to go back to Florida to see my kids and grand kids and great grand kids. I have a lot of love and caring to give if i ever find the right person to share it with – I pray.

 Where I live it’s now part care home.  Most never leave thier flats and those who do have degree’s of dementia – I miss talking to people. Have been here many years and it was my contact outside of my four walls, I love the site and I hope now its getting nearer to winter more people will stay. It’s a good site and has served us well all these years and counting that members come back again.

 10 mg/day of escilalopram got me out of the depths so I can do things, even little things, by which I “forget” that I’m alone. I find that keeping busy is the best solution, and without medication I was unable to do that. Also, I feel that it’s a state of mind – if you realize that it’s normal to do things alone, then it doesn’t seem so empty.

 When I Retired at the young age of 47 from the Federal Government, I purchased a old horse ranch on 8 acres of land, The old homestead here was in dire need of repairs, Upon which I am currently remodelling.  I turned the horse barn into a mechanic shop to restore 60’s and 70’s model Chevy trucks and tinker with my dirt bikes and ATV’s.  Having 8 acres of land also keeps me busy, I will soon be 53 and loving life as we know it, I really don’t have the time to be lonely, My dog Lucky makes sure of that, Yes it would be a blessing to find a soulmate, Maybe in time (God Willing) that will happen.

 Loneliness may have a different meaning to people. For me right now it’s spending too much time alone, unemployment, changing my lifestyle and the very recent loss of my true companion and canine soul mate, Kodi.  My sweet dog went with me everywhere.  Losing him has made any feelings of loneliness I did have before I put him down two weeks ago worse. I’ve tried being around friends, I’m always job hunting and I’ve been trying to walk everyday and clean, clean, clean my house but nothing is really working right now.  I knew he was a huge part of my life but I didn’t realize how much. So for me to try to get over it is to try not to be so hard on myself, volunteering in the community and finding projects around the house that keep me very busy.

I would try to extend my circle of friends by joining local clubs that might interest me. I’d hopefully get out and about as much as possible to release the happy endorphin’s and, last but definitely not least,enjoy my membership with senior chatters. If ever I feel down a good natter with my online friends soon improves my mood and brightens up my day.

 I usually go out to see a friend and/or I go shopping to help relieve any form of loneliness. I usually call my sister or a friend when needing someone to talk to. I spend a lot of time alone due to husband’s work hours and it helps to have someone to reach out to at times like these.

 I’m somewhat lucky in that respect as I have a wife. If you are alone but still mobile then get out there, into town or anywhere there are people to chat to.   I go and meet old work friends and friends from my old video club , so we can have a good old natter at a coffee sop in town.  One thing though, if you are on a chat site like this, and you are married make sure your other half knows what you’re doing.

 I don’t need to beat loneliness. After raising a large family and also helping raise grandies until they went to school I crave time on my own. My fortnightly shopping expedition is about the only time I mix with other people and I do that as fast as I can. As i get older that may change then I will go out and seek the company of others by socializing at a place where people congregate but at this stage I’m quite content with my own company and that of family who tend to turn up at unexpected moments.

 I have been lonely and when I am lonely, I have taken steps to expand my circle of friends. I joined this site and others to expand my contact with the outside world. I do it online and in my actual life.  When I have lonely moments it is a comfort to know that I have online friends.

I told you there were a lot of posts 🙂  If you are struggling with loneliness then hopefully a few of these posts will help?

Please, please, please keep this Blog alive by commenting below and sharing it with your Facebook and other social media friends.

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  1. All very interesting comments i have never felt lonely because i have a part time job which takes up the afternoons and a good social life. When i am at home on my own i very often withdraw into my own very private world of fantasy. I have wrote hundreds of short stories over the years and many have been published. Some of the characters which i created are to me very real .They are only figments of my imagination but i know this without them there would probably been a void some where in my life. I have never felt the need to always be with people.

    1. Thanks, Jim – I don’t think there’s ever going to be a one-size-fits-all answer to beating loneliness as everyone is so different. Maybe it’s about occupying the time you have doing the things you love. If you don’t have that, then you need to find that something as per all the information above.

      Good luck with your short stories!

      1. Hi Jim
        I love to write
        Its my hobby as well as work
        I write poetry also
        Some days I am so busy lol I meet myself coming back
        My head is full of words
        Keep writing it keeps the brain in good order so they tell me
        Sky x

  2. Lonliness is a state of mind that crawls on all emotions. Next year I will be 70 and am still very active in my profession. There were moments when I had to face a financial disaster that I wanted to be on my own and away from any source of communication. In my loneliness I was finding refuge in alcohol which in turn was encouraging the idea of suicide but my wife was in time to help me overcome the tragedy. That was about 10 years ago. Since then I never looked back. At 60 I went back to university and obtained a degree after 5 years on a part time basis. I joined groups one of which is to help people get rid of the abuse of alcohol. I still attend lectures and courses . I can say that my life is full again and loneliness has become the haunted shadow of the past.

  3. I lost my soulmate in 2002 unexpectedly, we were married 26 years.we went everywhere together, I have always done voluntary work and I threw myself into 5 days a week after my husband died, 4 on mental health helpline also drug ans alcohol , on a Friday Intaught Enlglish to reffugees and asl/eekers very rewarding .

    I like living in my own , but due to health matters my doctors have stopped me doing Vol /work, after 42 years of vol work I feel lost, I am a people person and not being able to go out without someone taking me ,,is causing me real lonliness.
    I am a people person , I try to keep my mind busy , but I can go a whole week or more without seeing someone.
    Every couple of weeks my sister takes me to her house for a few days ,,which is lovely being together.
    Senior Chatters has helped me a great deal, esp if I can’t sleep through pain .
    So I would like to thank everyone for making me so welcome on this site.

    After recently being in a car crash , I was lifted so much by the kindness of new friends I have made on this site, esp Sweet51 / Lani and Neecee
    Your advice concern and caring lifted me no end.
    Thank you all and Rob for helping me to join .
    Good luck to you all keep your Hope alive , that is the hardest thing , I have found at low times……

    1. Lovely to hear your story, my attention was grabbed after you mentioned people person several times because I describe myself as such. I dont have a profession or even a part time job and so value any friends that I discover along life`s way. Just joined the site and looking forward to being enriched by those I meet, thank you, Jem

  4. Hi, it can also be lonely when still married but acting as Carer for my wife, mixture of physical and mental health disabilities. Not sure if more or less lonely than being single, divorced or widowed.
    I have found joining local MeetUp Groups for a few hours walk etc helps, also I still work fultime. That is stressful, but made many friends at work by being totally honest and not hiding or pretending anything.
    I think just being honest with everyone how you feel is best approach, most people will respond well, the rest..well..they have their own problems.
    As they say in Wales, big cwtch to everyone…

  5. Coping with loneliness – after reading all these blogs I feel a little down. I am agonising over retiring and when is the right time for me. I know I have had enough of going to work, but the though of being lonely really scares me. I am not the sort of person who goes out looking for company and what clubs to join? I have yet to experience true loneliness as my life as always been filled with work and people. I know that is going to change soon. Only time will tell. Lots a great ideas though from all.

    1. I know how you must feel Judeee, I worked till I was 75,not so much for the money,but to be able to interact with people and be part of the social round with all ages………However,when I did bite the bullet,and moved into a retirement village,I found a whole new demographic of people to enjoy life with,so,being scared of loneliness wasnt going to happen anymore.
      That was my experience,I hope yours works out as well. 🙂

      1. Thanks Capp for your comments, I am hoping to move to a retirement village in another city where my daughter lives, I am sure it will be a good move for me. ……But as my 90 year old mother is in fine fettle and very happy to live in her own home moaning about her lot, LOL, LOL. I just keep working toward my future goal.

    2. Hi,I also find it hard to join clubs probably because I haven’t found one I would like to join .I am married and have been for 46 yrs but my husband as cancer and spends most of the time either in hospital or resting at home.I have quickly found out friends soon get fed up of asking how I am or how my husbands doing.I would love to find something new to join but apart from voluntary service I cant think what to do.

  6. Wow amazing and helpful replies here.
    I lost my mum in 2006 I cared for her for many years, 2008 my husband left me for another woman. 2009 my only daughter left home. I was frightened and lonely and was struggling to cope. I prayed every night to get to sleep. I finally had to sell our home, I moved a hour away from where I lived,to a city where I did not know anyone or had any friends. It’s now years later and I am finally not as afraid as I was.

  7. In my experience, loneliness creeps surreptitiously into your life when busy-ness and purpose leave. Retiring to a picturesque property on the edge of a small town was, in retrospect, a not very well planned move immediately following a busy, full life in business and at university, and I learned the hard way what removing yourself from daily contact with others could do. The novelty of doing “all those things” I never had time for before lasted a surprisingly short time, and all too soon I was admitting to both loneliness and boredom. Travel to the nearest city was time consuming, expensive and at times tiring, and not being on-hand meant it was difficult to become part of any meaningful group or project.
    Looking hard at my viable options, I decided that immersing myself in some self-directed project was the only way to go, so I dug deep to discover what it was I truly could become excited about doing. Now, my various projects fill my thoughts, and to my utter delight have led me to join a couple of groups of like-minded others, each of which I attend once a month, and through which I have met a couple of people I hope I can now call friends. My message? Follow your passion, and don’t ever, ever give up.

  8. Rob, this is a subject that has raised many issues and feelings, thank you for bringing it to our attention…
    I have always been alone from the age of 16 loosing all my family , all but one brother at that age who was overseas , alone is so different to being lonely .’ I have had two husbands that are bereaved now , i guess being without a partner is the greatest loneliness , however as the years go by it’s harder to find another partner, not because of aging so much but because with the trauma some have had in their lives , they are very wary of being hurt again . quite understandable ..
    I had an impending partner as soon as he heard i was going to be sight impaired he walked away,i guess he thought he was going to have to be my guide dog poor guy, although i am having a lot of treatment to save my sight and it is beginning to work to some extent , it made me realise that i can’t afford to be lonely , when i get that way, i put all my love on paper in my poetry books , which is my solace.. so i guess in many ways i am so fortunate compared to some others.
    i try to see one good thing in every day, children , grandchildren good friends which are a blessing , I have a lovely little cottage ,food a plenty , nice clothes and a good life , which is more than some others have , so i’m counting my blessings and not my misfortunes , this gets me through those despairing moments we all go through at times ….. God bless all the lonelies out there
    I do hope and pray all your lives are enriched in some way … ((((HUGS))))) lANI.

    1. May God bless you, Lani! It sounds as if you have had your share of sorrows. I can`t imagine losing my parents at 16 years of age. I had great parents and a great childhood, but sometimes I think that there is a negative aspect to having a carefree, happy childhood. It leaves you somewhat unprepared to deal with the inevitable sorrows of adulthood. I am an only child of older parents, When I was in my early 30`s, my mother began having mini strokes, followed by several major strokes. I had just become established in a stressful career. My mother had always stressed education and that a woman should have the security of being able to support herself well, so I tried to find responsible people to care for her while I worked. I took care of her at night and on weekends, waking to turn her in her bed every 2 hrs. Soon my dad began to have strokes. My husband helped me care for him. He passed on 2003, and my mother passed in 2007. I never had children because it would have been impossible in my situation. Now, I am retired, with no family except my husband. He is a wonderful man, but we have few interests in common, and I really have no one to talk to, to share my feelings with. That is why I write poetry. I have read some of your poems, and they are lovely and touching. I hope that writing helps you, as it has helped me.

  9. Surprises me how many say they have never been lonely but i think perhaps personalities help a lot. I was on a ship with 2000 crew and had moments of loneliness. I lost my wife and thanks to chat sites and me having the sense to buy a laptop for the first time meant i could make good friends that for some weird reason have stayed friends with me ever since lol
    Think the answer is we all have to find a way that suits us best and never be afraid to ask for help.

  10. I would welcome the chance to meet up with other people but where? if you a man you have the pub but where can a woman alone go? wish I knew especially somewhere in Bridgwater where I live so if anyone has the answer I would love to know what it is,

    1. Exactly ,my husbands in hospital with cancer and as been since March so although Im married he’s never hear.Im retired now but find it hard to fill my nights days I can find things to do .I live in a village so things going on socialy but if you are by yourself people don’t seem to want you to tag along.I was the same and never thought to ask people who are alone but I won’t do it again if my husband recovers.

    2. A coffee shop is a good place to go a woman on one’s own a nice little coffee shop where there s not too many people. Or if you like walking there might be a walking group or some group that afterwards have coffee together .

  11. i am a very chatty person and meet loads of people while i am out so i never feel lonely also i have lots of friends who i meet up with during the week for lunch or a coffee , but it wasn’t always that way.. when i first moved to Scotland 23 years ago with my hubby who had started working straight away in the Hotel business so therefore worked odd hours .. i didnt know a soul but i did have 2 dogs and i was fit and healthy being only 53 yrs .. so i joined a keep fit group 3 mornings a week and met some nice ladies there and we would go for coffee afterwards . i would go walking with the dogs and stop and chat to anybody who wanted to stand and chat ..i then became a volunteer for Home Start and gradually i started to feel happy , my dogs passed away so then i adopted 3 stray cats then when they passed away i looked after dogs for people going on holiday.. now i am pleased when i get a day to myself when hubby goes off to Aberdeen translating for the immigrants advise is if you can walk get a dog if not a cat or even two, they will snuggle up to you and give you so much love …

  12. Loneliness is not just as you get older, For me it started when my spouse was diagnosed with MS nearly 30 years ago within months all that i thought were friends were no longer seen and all family other than my step son and he can not come to terms with his mothers illness followed. Now at 65 I still have no one that I can think of as a friend,
    As the relationship changes from love loved one to carer loving one, as well as the loneliness of no friends the missing of the warmth of being lover cuddled and sharing is a very strong loss and feeling of missing so much !
    the trouble I find is I am not one for small chat so do not get on well in chat rooms with lots there and they move to quick, so i end up feeling cold and alone there as well.

    1. My husband of 46yrs in hospital with cancer and I soon found out who my friends are.I care my husband when he’s home and visit him everyday in hospital a 1hr drive away so Im tied with getting a voluntary job.I find the nights lonely and miss cuddling up in bed its hard being by myself

  13. Yeah rob im lonely at 55 never was married or children – posibly get more lonely as time goes on – glad i found senior chatters – i have a lady in houston but thats 200 miles away – n my car died so made things worse – long distance relationships are ruff but its oknow i can come her n chat n i dont have to be eleanor rigbee’s twin brother see yall next month friends

  14. I live alone and enjoy it. I can’t really explain but just one day decided i had had enough.
    I had 8 children, 22 grand children and 3 great grand children and not one knows weather I’m alive
    After my divorce I just decided to sell everything, Buy a Motor home and travel
    I have a dog for company and we do anything we want when we want to.
    Lonlyness is just a frame of mind. there are so many people wanting to make friends.
    All you need to do is say hello and start a conversation.
    The big problem is not to become to friendly

  15. Loneliness is something many of us deal with. I have many friends on here at live in loneliness in their life and that take advantage of SC. Some may live with family, but the family is gone most of the time. My daughter lives with me along with her two sons. With two kids running around, there is time I want to be alone. Other times where I miss having a mate to do things with.
    I get by because I have been blessed with many good friends. If they or I get lonely we chat. I go to book store and meet them. I plan outings with a friend or family.
    I can get bye. BUT I feel for the many who sit alone and have not been able to connect with others. Maybe because they are shy or afraid to make the first step. That is where we can reach out. Just looking over those who responded to this post, I see several who I want to reach out to because they had good ideas or they just needed a new friend.

  16. I am past 80 and joined SC because I need to deal with loneliness. I am ma
    rried to a devoted husband who has no friends and is very introverted. When I was with my first husband, who committed suicide when he was 30′ I was friends with his many friends and didn’t need to make my own effort to find friends. Between husbands I did make friends, but they are mostly gone now. I go to the Y to do yoga and swim. My husband drives me there or I take Access-a-Ride. What limits me now is I no longer drive, I am limited in walking, and can’t take the subway, so I’m stuck in the house a lot. I have friends to write to and call, and grown children wh live too far. But I am introverted too and rather quiet. More likely to read SC than to chat myself. But I think joining this could help.

  17. Loneliness I didn’t realise I was until I stopped trying to fix my unfixable marriage, I’ve got my four adult children and I thought that’s it that’s my life’s accomplishments I’m happy I’ve done good they know they are loved cherished and wanted ,which was my goal in life as I wasn’t. I stopped trying to please my husband and accepted what a lonely life it is with him, I’m fine with my own thoughts and company, but I’m also sociable gregarious funny?! My loneliness took away my confidence, but once I recognised this, it’s all about adventure, going to the cinema on my own, that’s an adventure I may not have company but I still enjoy the film, getting a sat nav and trusting it and my own intelligence to get me somewhere I’ve always wanted to go ,on my own yes but the feeling of not being lonely of being strong is intoxicating.

  18. Hello, I, too, have never been lonely. My experience and observations lead me to believe that what may cause loneliness is that many do not adjust their expectations beyond work or marriage or illnesses/loss of loved ones. These are events we all go through at one point or another. Some do not prepare themselves for the inevitabilities of the life cycle.

    Expectations – Having traveled the world and purposely, not having avoided the realities of what so many others contend and cope with in much less advantaged locations/situations, has really helped to adjust my expectations in life. We must live with an attitude of gratitude for what we do have, not what we do not. Kindness and compassion are the order of how we should treat one another. The best way to become more cheerful is to cheer someone else. It works every time. People really do need one another.

  19. Do they have such things as apartment blocks for the over 55’s? Where you can be independent in your home, but maybe a common room to chat with others. But I am Sooooooooo lonely. I spend Christmas, New year, Birthday, Easter, and now Canada day is tomorrow, totally alone. I go weeks without talking to anyone. I cry to, because I have no one call for a chat. No Family, no friends. I have to admit im not happy living any more.

    1. Hello Polly pie , I’m sorry to hear you are so lonely , I do live with my daughter , but I have my own flat in the front part of her house, she is out quite a lot , I long for someone to chat with sometimes , when my daughter is there She never says more than two words to me , I did have a befriended lady that came once a week to visit me for an hour once a week , but she has stopped doing it now , so I’m back to having no one to chat with , I try and keep myself busy when I feel well enough , I’m either on my I pad , or playing my keyboard etc ,I also put nice pics on A group run by golden girl , I’m sure you have replied sometimes to my posts , I’ve been on chatters now for about nearly seven years , I must admit without them I don’t know where I would be , I have some wonderfull friends on there ,I also belong to face book and messenger , anyway if ever you are in need of someone to chat with etc don’t hesitate to contact me , I will send you my email address on private message on chatters Peggy Britton

  20. Hi Pollypie, well over here we do have some complexes within gated areas for the older generation but they have to be purchased…….on the other hand we do have groups of bungalow for the elderly, usually they have a community centre where people can meet for tea, coffee and a chat, and to play games too. I don’t know where you live or what you have available in your area, but even going out for a stroll would get you interacting with others…… you have any local community centre or a local coffee shop you could pop into, we have a phone line over here which people can ring for a chat, and volunteers who will visit people who need company……. I urge you Pollypie to get out and put a smile on your face and say hello to people….could make someone’s day, and pop into chat on here…….lots feel the same as you, just make a super human effort to change things……or perhaps you could you be a volunteer for a needy cause…….

  21. Being alone is terrible. When my wife of 55 years went home to the Lord, and I was all alone on the farm I did not know what to do. However, my wife who was on dialysis for years and in very bad health, and knew her time was short had made arrangements with her brothers widow also a farm type lady to come join me on the farm. We lived as sister and brother for 4 years and slept in separate rooms with our dogs. Then in 2013 we decided to get married for companionship and travel. Still sleep in our own rooms with our dogs but enjoy each others company and she does the cooking and I hand wash the dishes to help my hands.with hot water. Now we have added her daughter and husband to help on farm and they have other jobs in the area. I recall calling on a man years sgo on visitation with my church and here is the story from my weekly newspaper column. Pray each of you on chat pray to the Lord for his guidance and help. Len
    LEN’S LINES — A Little Religion On A Positive Note by Len Granger

    Visitation Surprise

    When I was attending a small church in a town where we lived next to the Air Force base where I was assigned, this true story happened to me. I and another church member were out on visitation calling on area homes sharing the Gospel and everything was going as usual until we knock on this door.

    A middle aged man answered the door and we asked if he attended church? He said no and that he did not see how that could help his situation, as he was very depressed. I asked if we could just talk to him and he invited us into his kitchen.

    On the table where we were sitting, was a pistol laying in middle, which made me very uncomfortable. I asked him and he said that he intended to end his life tonight and nothing we might say would change that. I asked if he would put the pistol in a drawer and he did.

    He went on to tell us that his wife had left him, he was about to lose the house and maybe his job, so he had nothing to live for. I said let us pray, you and your three visitors. He said, “I only see two visitors,”… so I added “we have an unseen Guest, the Lord Jesus Christ, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

    We prayed and prayed that the Lord would touch his heart and change his life. Well before we left him that night the Lord spoke to him and he promised to join us in church the next day, which was Sunday. When the invitation was offered he went forward and asked the Lord Jesus to come into his life. He was baptized and joined the church.

    Later he also gave a testimony how two church members had knocked on his door and with the Lord’s help his life was changed. His wife returned and he was promoted at his job and kept his home. So he had gone from a life of desperation to a life of joy with the Lord at his side.

    Trust this Sunday we will all be in the church of our choice as we worship our living Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    God Bless America

  22. polly pie i know whatyou mean since i retired i am very much the same as you , no friends no family , i spend most of my time alone though i have my laptop , i tend to go shopping daily instead of weekly , it gets me out of the house i have a cuppa out at the supermarket and watch people it passes the time , at home i come online to chat sites , sometimes can get into a chat with someone or just read what is said in chatroom , i hope this helps some of you your not totally alone if you have the internet , and local shops and cafes

    1. Yes pollypie the secret is to get out go for walk go supermarket and yes some of them have coffee shops have a coffee pass some time smile at people chat with people there s always someone that wants to chat and getting out of house makes you feel better anyway you won’t meet anyone staying in you might be surprised how much good it will do you .try join some woman’s group s .good luck

  23. My first wife passed in 2008 and she had been on dialysis for years. When things really got bad for her and she was ready to stop the dialysis and die, she made arrangements for her sister in law to help me on the farm. She knew we got along very well as the three of us made long RV trips together around the nation,. So my kids said I did not have enough sadness in my life. I am sure my first wife wanted it that way, On her death bed she told me how much she loved me and marrying her, We in the Air Force traveled the world, had 6 kids, owned a farm and several rental houses, so life was very comfortable. We attended church weekly and praised the Lord for his blessings. I write at age 85 a newspaper column that goes worldwide Is called ” Lens Lines —A Little Religion On A Positive Note ” by Len Granger It is found on the computer and I get emails how the short stories have been so up lifting to those that are depressed.

  24. I think the secret is not relying on others for your happiness. That way, you can enjoy their company when you have it, but you don’t need company to be happy. I’ve never fit in anywhere, and as a child and teen, I found it very difficult, but at some point I realized that it was okay to be different. Because I was always alone as a child and teen, I occupied my time with learning, and with time outdoors. Because I was always alone, peer pressure wasn’t an issue for me in school. I had my own moral code and sense of honor and I lived by it confidently, rather than being led astray by trying to fit in. I also found that I generally preferred the more honest company of other species. A dog likes you, or he doesn’t. Either way, you know where you stand with him.

    Because I’ve lived what some would call a lonely life, I’ve had some amazing opportunities, working for months at a time alone in the wilderness, working with chimps who could communicate with sign language, doing humanitarian work with POWs, and these days, rescuing rattlesnakes. I probably wouldn’t have had any of those opportunities if I had lived a more socially “normal” life.

    There was a moment in an old TV series where a Shaolin monk held his hand over a flame for a long time. “Doesn’t that hurt?” someone asked, and the monk replied, “Of course it hurts. The trick is not minding.”

    I think it may be a similar situation with loneliness. Being alone isn’t, itself, the problem. The problem comes when we begin to feel that we ought not to be alone, and resist it, rather than embracing the benefits of it. I spent last Christmas kneeling in the snow, photographing snipes. I don’t get to see them very often but, with the rest of the world all indoors celebrating Christmas, I had hours to watch them, and no one came by to frighten them off. I wouldn’t have traded that day for anyone else’s fancy Christmas celebration!

  25. Well…I spent 36 years alone. Not to say there weren’t marriages and boyfriends etc, etc. But I was alone until my children were born when I was 36. Before them, everything was fun and games; and then I saw them….WOW, PURPOSE! All at once, I was important, I was necessary, I COUNTED! But…now they are 22 and 19, and I have forgotten the joys of solitude. This may take a while…

  26. I find myself relating to Jessie and her response. I grew up as family being important. Every Sunday seeing my parents but my kids are grown and have their own families, I so desperately want to be a part of their life and enjoy my grandchildren. I live with my husband who is very content to stay at home but gets jealous if I go out, even if it is for church. He says that I am making him feel alone, but he doesn’t understand that sitting in our home watching TV isn’t satisfying to me and I feel so alone. He gets upset if I talk on the phone, I feel like he wants me to have my life revolve around him. I do love him…. and he is a good man….. but his idea of retirement and mine are so drastically different. I find myself fighting depression because even though this man is across the room from me. I am alone in my own thoughts and only want to be surrounded by my children and grandchildren.

    1. Hi Bubbylove, I feel I have to comment on your comment, your husband is being very selfish, love is putting your loved ones needs before your own, he should want you to be happy, does he not realise if you become depressed and sad it will fall on his shoulders………jealousy is his problem and you shouldn’t let it spoil your life…… dare he put guilt on you for making him feel alone……..does he understand how he makes you feel………he needs to realise that you have responsibilities to each other……..but you cannot rely on someone solely to meet your every need and make them happy……..go out and do what makes you happy, after all what’s he going to do about it….if he throws his dummy out of the pram and starts sulking then you have a good reason to go out and seek more cheerful company elsewhere………you should see your family more and so should he……..he needs a wake up call sharpish…..

  27. I can so relate to both comments above you can be in a relationship but still feel very lonely especially if your partner acts selfish towards you and does not share or work with you.I have learnt to make a life of my own in my relationship cos my partners away lot and I am lucky to enjoy my own company but that’s not to say I don’t have times when I feel totally alone.

  28. I have been lonely for years looking after my husband who has dementure and other health issues. Now he’s in a nursing home I really miss him. I shall be 80 next year and I need to have a plan to keep me going Iam going to downsize into a retirement plus apartment where I can mix and meet other people and have someone looking out for me. I have a buyer lined up and found the perfect apartment nearer to the nursing home so it’s easier for me to visit. It’s not going to be easy but I live in hope. Wish me luck xx