The national ‘Week against Loneliness’ starts on September 29. This week is meant to create more awareness about loneliness.
In Ridderkerk, various people and organizations are committed to reducing loneliness. This also applies to the social elderly advisors of Facet Ridderkerk. Henny de Wilt talks about the importance of her work.
Types of Loneliness
“As a social worker, we support the elderly at Ridderkerk. The aim is to enable them to be self-reliant for as long as possible and to be able to live in their own home. More and more elderly people are lonely. Many people are very busy and have less time and attention for, for example, their grandfather and grandmother. While you can lose your self-reliance in all kinds of areas due to loneliness and sink further and further into this. It is therefore great that we can be there for this target group.”
Henny emphasizes that it is not always easy. “Loneliness is a complex concept, because it has a different meaning for everyone. It is often an experience that is not objectively observable. This makes loneliness complex and customization is therefore required. A listening ear, in addition to the practical support we offer.”
“We investigate why and in what way someone feels loneliness. That way we can help them better. This way the elderly can ask us their questions and tell their story. The family can also contact us for information and advice. But we also offer practical help. Consider financial and administrative support. We also invite the elderly to activities that are organized in Ridderkerk. In addition, we help the elderly to create a comfortable and safe home, so that they can continue to live at home until old age. And the elderly can participate in sports activities, especially for seniors. Because exercise keeps you healthy for longer and makes you happier.”
Henny believes it is important that loneliness no longer remains a taboo. “You can break the taboo surrounding loneliness by making it a topic for discussion. Let someone know that he/she is not the only one walking around with this feeling. It is also important not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Some people look lonely, but maybe they aren’t at all. While someone else has a lot of people around him, but feels lonely. It is important that you listen carefully and do not fill in things yourself. What you think about how someone feels is not always the right thing to do.”
Do you suspect that someone close to you is lonely? Does this person not ask for help and/or do you find it difficult to approach him/her yourself? Share your care (online) via the loneliness signal point via the Facet Rdderkerk website (link is external). Or contact Henny de Wilt on 06 – 1432 7469.
Photo: Municipality of Ridderkerk