Irish aging support charity, Alone, has released a heart-wrenching campaign about the harmful effects of loneliness.
Sadly, as we get older we tend to lose touch with some of our friends. Not purposely, of course. The responsibilities and needs we have as we get older are more vast and might include an important career, children, travel, the move to a new country perhaps.
This is all just part of life. But for the aging population, it’s a bit different. Their friends might have passed away, if they’ve had children, they would be all grown up, and being less mobile can make it more difficult to participate in activities.
But, humans are naturally social creatures and the affects of loneliness can be harmful to one's mental and physical health.
Alone has drawn attention to this through its latest campaign through Superdream, Birmingham, UK which features print and online advertising with elderly people standing at their windows, staring into space and seemingly not knowing what to do with themselves.
The images state that loneliness can be as harmful to someone’s health as smoking “15 cigarettes a day”.
Another image, similarly borrows from cigarette packet tropes, which reads “loneliness kills”.
A tagline at the bottom of the images reads “Help someone quit loneliness”.
Alone organises supportive housing, support coordination, campaigns for change and befriending to hundreds of older people who are homeless, socially isolated, living in deprivation or in crisis.