Being around others is only the beginning of tackling loneliness.
This study on bus riders in Plymouth demonstrates the positive impact of social interaction on our wellbeing. As part of the Crossing Divides On the Move Day, BBC worked with transport companies to encourage interaction between individuals.
Chris Bamford, Director of Wellness and Care at Guild Living, explains our responsibility to our members: ‘We have a huge responsibility as part of our research to shed some light on this and offer those who may not recognise this in themselves a place where people can come and join meaningful groups. Knitting groups are lovely but as our generations shift, we are going to need to be much more focussed.’.
Bamford adds, ‘My father in law retired at 60 and had this wonderful celebration. Then for about 3 weeks he had a huge breakdown. For somebody who was so strong and such a key member of the family it was a shock to see him fall apart. He thought work has been my life and I don’t have anything to live for. Despite having an incredible network of friends and family around him he suddenly lost his focus.
You may lose the ability to talk and communicate with somebody or perhaps have social interaction but are unable to connect with anybody on a level. This combined with what retirement may bring are all triggers which can lead to people dipping emotionally in their mood. The knock-on effect of this to our overall health then has a huge effect on our overall wellbeing.’