Hug Away the Loneliness and Isolation!

Being Alone photo: Naixn CC

Being Alone photo: Naixn CC

The feeling of loneliness and isolation may draw people into depression, stress and even heart problems. But sometimes people even don’t realize that they are lonely.

As Adrian Robson, a Councillor in Cardiff says, it is important for the local organizations to realize the importance of helping older people understand their mental conditions. ”They may think sitting in their own home and watching television or listening to the radio is what normal life should be. It doesn’t need to be that way and it is important for them to realize that there are organizations and friends out there who are willing to help them.”

Photo: Paul Gallagher CC

Photo: Paul Gallagher CC

For this generation, people are too proud to admit they are lonely. When the reporter from Cardiff News Plus talked to some older people in Cardiff’s cafe, even some of them are struggling with being alone, including having brunch by themselves, staying home by themselves and going to hospitals by themselves, they don’t tell that they need a companion. When our reporter asked whether they sometimes feel lonely and empty, the answer is always that they are satisfied with their current life.

But is this true?

Photo: P-Franccone

Photo: P-Franccone CC

Figures from Age Cymru show that 75,000 older people in Wales feel isolated. They don’t directly say it, but they face up to their trouble on questionnaires. According to the survey, their main companion is the television or a pet. Tackling loneliness and isolation is a tough issue in Cardiff now, especially in the northern area of Cardiff.

National Assembly for Wales has raised a Consultation for inquiry into loneliness and isolation and people can submit any problems and suggestions concerning this theme by  10 March 2017.(www.assembly.wales/InquiryPrivacy)

Free Hugs in Cardiff Photo: CNPL

Free Hugs in Cardiff last Saturday Photo: CNP

How does it feel to have a hug from a stranger?

Half a million people over the age of 60 in Cardiff usually spend each day alone.A group of volunteers gathered together to give free hugs, brightening the Saturday of people passing by on a busy Cardiff shopping street. A free hug might have the magic to warm a numb heart in this extremely cold winter.

The organizer, Sri Ponnuswamy, believes that sometimes even a hug can make all the difference and make a lonely person feel valued. Receiving a ”cwtch” can really make a difference to a lonely person. He also added that several years ago, he hugged an old lady in Cardiff bay and then she told him that she hadn’t been hugged for almost ten years! The sense of achievement encouraged him to keep doing this kind of events.

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