It’s something we tend to take for granted in our housing and care homes, the fact that no-one is lonely. It’s often a ‘thank you’ prayer of our residents, that they have good friends amongst others in the home. And of course, our supporters from local churches are regular befrienders.

But for Derek Taylor, left on his own after his wife and daughter died, life was lonely. So he decided to fight it. In an interview with the BBC he said, “I thought, what can I do to stop being lonely?” He’d noted that the older you get, the fewer people come to see you.

He went into coffee shops to have conversations with others and got involved with local community gardening. He did a number of other things, and made a list of them. Here is Taylor’s list that the Manchester City Council put into a handout as part of their Age-Friendly Manchester program:


Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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