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Thriving Communities across Adur and Worthing

Loneliness and its impact

Loneliness is described as:

“the perceived discrepancy between desired and realised social interactions”
(Peplau & Perlman, 1982)

It is an experience that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives, either momentarily or as a more prolonged experience because of events like the loss of a parent or friend. Being lonely can become a serious issue when it becomes a day-to-day reality as it's quite important for our health and wellbeing, and the way we function in our communities.

There is increasing evidence that loneliness is a risk factor for negative health outcomes. Therefore, at the same time, poor health is a risk factor for loneliness and loneliness a risk factor for poor health.

To read more about loneliness, its consequences on our health, and things that can help people to feel less lonely please see the document below:

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What is Thriving Connections?

Sponsored by Adur & Worthing Councils, WSCC and the Clinical Commissioning Group, Thriving Connections is a project focusing on ways that loneliness and social isolation might be tackled in a more innovative way.

The project will explore loneliness in the context of our communities and pressures, focusing on the transition points in people's lives and ways in which we might use these to access them.

Using evidence and examples of innovative practice elsewhere, we want to look at ways in which we can help connect different generations together to help them thrive.

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13 key profiles

We want to explore what we know about key profiles (people in reachable moments). Thirteen profiles were identified as points where we can reach people where they are in need of being connected. We want to build on this as a Health and Wellbeing Partnership.

1. Primary School families: Children aged 4-11 are exposed to less formative experiences due to funding cuts for schools (music, art, trips, extra help) and to extra pressure on families (money, time, lack of extended family, bereavement); resulting in less contact with people across generations.

2. Adolescents: Socialising with peers might be affected by: special education needs, mental health issues, bullying, not having money to socialise, etc.

3. Care Leavers: Young people leaving care are in a transition to live independently, sometimes moving to a different area far from people they know.

4. Carers: Young people looking after loved ones have limited chances to socialise due to responsibilities at home.

5. Vulnerable street community: Adults who are in a transition to live in the community after having being homeless need support to form positive relationships to prevent them from going back to their previous community (street).

6. Families with a newborn child: Adults who are in a transition to family life and don't have a support network (family and friends) are at risk of feeling lonely and isolated.

7. New in town: Moving to a new area sometimes involves not knowing people and can put people at risk of loneliness, particularly if other barriers to build relationships exist (e.g. English as second language).

8. Carers: Adults looking after loved ones have limited chances to socialise due to responsibilities at home.

9. Bereaved: Elderly people who experience the sense of loss of a significant are at risk of feeling lonely and isolated.

10. Newly diagnosed with dementia: Elderly people with a diagnosis on dementia are in a transition moment where they need to change habits (might need to stop working) and their social network can reduce (less confident in doing activities and meeting people).

11. Frequent ambulance users (SECAmb): Elderly people who come in and out of hospital relying constantly on ambulance (sometimes because they don't have anyone else around).

12. Retirement and empty nest syndrome: Elderly people with time and skills who are not using it as much as they would- earlier intervention for elderly (extending their period where they feel they are contributing and socially active) + Empty nest syndrome - children moving out.

13. Carers: Adults looking after loved ones have limited chances to socialise due to responsibilities at home.

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Links to strategy and reading

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