Gransnet forums


Support for those on their own in lockdown.

(102 Posts)
Sparkling Sun 08-Nov-20 19:18:40

I think if you are part of a couple or have very supportive close family, you can’t imagine how it is for some, not speaking to a person for days really messes with your head. I am a strong person, so I thought. I have been so disappointed though that my family and friends just assume the odd text is sufficient in their busy days, they all live with other people and have their own issues in this lockdown but a phone call to someone on their own means so much, that human voice, not a short message on the phone, really means such a lot. So if you are in this position please come on this thread for a chat or support.

BlueBelle Mon 09-Nov-20 16:09:48

geoolf thank you for that I don’t remember it but I m glad I helped ?
I think I perhaps wasn’t meaning the same as a lot on here it’s not totally about loneliness for me as I said I have a daughter nearby who looks out for me very well and talks, or texts to me every day I do speak quite regularly to friends, for me, it’s the lack of routine, motivation and the lack of feeling useful not the lack of doing things, I can keep myself busy in my house, garden, walking whatever but when not in lockdown, my voluntary work gives me so much pleasure and a great feeling of being useful and of achievement and when that is not there I lose my sense of being a useful human being
Anyway I ve been out for a walk, spoken to friends on the phone and taken some flowers to another friend and I m ok

I am counting the days off on my Calendar until I can feel useful again
If anyone is lonely and wants a chat send me a pm

Gymstagran Mon 09-Nov-20 16:36:12

Thank you Sparkling for this thread. I am normally happy on my own but like you started to feel very alone towards the end of the last lockdown. There are only so many isolated walks that you can do. I choose not to drive and normally this doesn't bother me at all but when public transport was essential journeys only I really felt it. I do have family but they were and are working full time and home schooling children in addition to all the other things that needed doing. I run a support group, keep myself active have hobbies love reading but the endless days when I spoke to no one were awful for me. So thanks again

hulahoop Mon 09-Nov-20 16:59:41

That's lovely news Betty congratulations.?

mokryna Mon 09-Nov-20 17:28:10

Thank you for this thread*Sparkling*. I am on my own as I had to give up teaching because of my age, 70. From leading a very busy life seeing 100 hundreds of students and staff each day to no-one. I like walking but I am only allowed out one hour each day and only one kilomètre from home. True I can lie and go out a second time, which I do most days, under the same rules for shopping but I don’t shop, as I bought a lot of frozen goods before this second lockdown. Fortunately, I am in a thirty minute daily gym zoom class and a once a week Pilates class.
My daughters are very busy with their families but it is so nice when they phone.

Tallyann1 Mon 09-Nov-20 18:16:12

Hetty58... congratulations what lovely news and I hope mother and baby are well ???

bluebirdwsm Mon 09-Nov-20 18:17:22

Thanks Sparkling for a thread I can feel part of. I live on my own quite happily usually. Always busy, lots of interests, go for a walk most days and very independent. Rarely bored.

My sons and GC aren't too far away. I can walk to one son and go there maybe every 6-7 weeks or so. But they are all very busy with work etc. The other son is 15 miles away and I see them every 6-8 weeks too due to their jobs too and shift patterns. So I count myself very lucky.

I am not able to see other friends who are a couple and both worried for health reasons...they phone sometimes, I phone them. But they do not seem to understand how isolated single people can feel sometimes. I enjoy a good chat now and then, it doesn't feel right not being able to.

Even though I am used to days/weeks never talking to anyone the lockdowns do affect me, mainly finding it frustrating and hate the not being able to be spontaneous. I have thought about getting a dog but can't seem to find an older dog locally.

Lioness68 Mon 09-Nov-20 18:25:42

Ginpin and Nanawind have your mothers registered on the Gov. website as vulnerable? There is a questionaire on there. I don't think the Government can be blamed if no-one has registered them. GPs would not be allowed to tell your local council who is vulnerable. Patient confidentiality prevents that.

hollysteers Mon 09-Nov-20 18:34:18

Yes Sparkling, one can be a strong person but still be ground down by this situation. I had a slump recently and actually gave up, went back to bed, listened to the radio and just got up to make a cup of tea. Today I have been a busy bee, necessary practical phone calls etc., but you don’t want to hear how well people are doing, you need to identify at the moment with those of us who, like you feel their head is “messed up” with living a stranger life.
For all those on here saying how well they are doing, some of us are not. We can’t see the point in getting dressed for what? All my social groups have gone down the pan, I’m fed up reading, endless tv and sorting drawers. Motivation moved out.
I also identify with Maggie Smith in Downton when faced with a telephone for the first time “An instrument of torture” she said? So, not keen on the ‘phone except for making arrangements. I like to see people in the flesh, give them a hug, hold their hand. I do enjoy FaceTime with my very close sister and daughter regularly, but still...This situation is just not healthy at all. Thank god I can stroke the cat.
Maybe it’s harder for those of us whose main aim was getting out of the house, socialising in groups a few times a week, dressing up, even partying. We are not all domesticated and baking the day away.
Yes I count my blessings and I’m impressed how so many Grans are coping, but I for one, have had enough.

HannahLoisLuke Mon 09-Nov-20 18:43:34

I live alone too and am mostly content. I get regular FaceTime calls with family and am in a support bubble with my younger daughter who lives nearest to me. I wish I had a dog but am scared off by possible vets fees so my short walks are taken alone. I'm in the clinically vulnerable group ( formally shielding) so not supposed to go out other than for a bit if exercise.
For people asking why elderly relatives aren't on any government list to receive help, it appears that you have to have a health problem that puts you at serious risk if you get Covid and age isn't a factor. Even my 100 year old aunt doesn't get any particular help, other than what is normal for someone her age.

Sparkling Mon 09-Nov-20 20:27:39

All these posts show we are not alone in feeling as we do. Heard the news and there is a hope the scientists have found a vaccine that shouldn't be too long coming. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, meanwhile we have Gransnet and we can come on this thread knowing we have support. Out of this comes how much we rely on the great outdoor fir our walks , it certainly lifts my mood. Another thing I appreciate is that Strictly is back, all that glitz and glitter and wonderful dancing, the judges get on my nerves though as they never used to,

Blossoming Mon 09-Nov-20 20:36:45

What a thoughtful thread sparkling

Tedd1 Mon 09-Nov-20 21:03:40

PollyDolly Yes. I feel that way sometimes

Teacheranne Mon 09-Nov-20 22:42:32


Ginpin and Nanawind have your mothers registered on the Gov. website as vulnerable? There is a questionaire on there. I don't think the Government can be blamed if no-one has registered them. GPs would not be allowed to tell your local council who is vulnerable. Patient confidentiality prevents that.

I was not aware that people had to register on the Gvt website as vulnerable, most people I know who did get gvt support were told to shield by the doctors and then they seemed to be on some kind of list - for food delivery slots, volunteers etc.

My mum at 87 with Altzheimers and breast cancer never received any communications and as she did not have a computer or the Internet, would not have been able to register herself. As it happened, she had a fall and was admitted to hospital as the first lockdown started and was then discharged into a care home but even so, she was not contacted by any organisation.

polnan Tue 10-Nov-20 10:36:19

wonder if it helps us to "share" here?

well today, Tuesday, I think it is... so many of us, well some people I have spoken to or read of on the web, say more or less a similar thing

we seem to have lost track of time! wondering if that can`t be a bad thing though.

and this morning,, well it was yesterday actually, I had to take a telephone appt, with Audiology! been putting it off for some time now.. the timed appt was 2.45.. and my did my anxiety build up... good appt..
made a physical hearing test appt.

but afterwards I just dissolved in tears... two problems I think from this lockdown...

1. having to ask for help, (someone to take me to the appt)

and then..
2. the hidden (from myself) anxiety build up ...

and yes, as others have said, not feeling needed anymore,, from a lifetime, (and I am elderly! lol) of helping others,,
now no longer needed.

good thread.

Namsnanny Tue 10-Nov-20 11:19:23

pollydolly yesterday 10.01 that is so true.
Then the loneliness has an added dimension of making the person isolated and disconnected from any type of society.

Dorsetcupcake61 Tue 10-Nov-20 11:24:06

I too think this is not only a lovely thread but a vital one. I live on my own and most of the time am perfectly content. I'm in touch with friends and family. That said I do have occasional days when I feel sad and tearful. I keep the house tidy and clean. I must admit there are times when I think why bother as only me here,but it feels better to be in nice environment. I've had a few days where there is a temptation to stay in pjs very strong but I always tell myself that would be the day of the unexpected zoom call?. Having a shower and blow drying my hair always makes me feel upbeat and better.
I must admit I think my two cats have made a tremendous difference. Of course I love them to bits or I wouldnt have them but several times it has occured to me what life would have been like if they weren't here. We all need human contact but a warm furry little body curled up next to you on the sofa or who is pleased to see you in the morning (albeit to be fed! ) has really made a difference. They may not be human but they are another living creature.
Well I'd better go and clean the kitchen floor!
Hopefully everyone reading this has a good day,but as it's so often said,if not it's ok not to be ok.

Shrub Tue 10-Nov-20 11:52:51

Well I’ve just cleaned under my bed. I’ve never been much of a domestic goddess but with staying at home so much, the dust bunnies seem to laugh at me.
I have a feeling of being not needed anymore. I used to have two voluntary jobs but they’ve gone for the time being and my family at 20 mins away are doing fine without me.

I’ll feel better when the sun comes out! Thanks for reading ?

Dorsetcupcake61 Tue 10-Nov-20 14:46:26

I think you have raised a good point there Shrub. That feeling of being needed,or maybe valued. I think it's very complex. I remember a decade ago when my daughters were still at home and life was full throttle. I was a carer for my mum and dad and I barely seemed to have a spare minute. Looking back I feel quite guilty that I didnt phone my mum more but it didnt mean I loved her any less. Now my daughters flown the nest and have childeren/ partners /jobs. They text at least once a day and there are frequent phone calls but I'm sure the time between them seems longer for me than them!
I think this lockdown feels different to the last,there feels less of a sense of community than before although there is still a great deal of goodness and kindness out there.
Maybe there is an assumption that someone coped well so far and so still are.
Feeling the loss of usefulness is very hard and it's difficult to do much in real world. Maybe we can be reassured by the support and comfort we give and receive here.

Sparkling Tue 10-Nov-20 15:31:24

Polnan, I can understand you not wanting to ask for help, but we all need help sometimes, think of all the people you have in your lifetime. Is there really no one you can ask for help? If there really, really isn’t, contact audiology and tell them your problem, they might, according to your age and circumstance be able to arrange to be collected. If not, why don’t you book a taxi, tell the audiologist you suffer from anxiety and you will find support. People can say no, unlikely, but if they do, you just don’t ask again. We all need each other and help at some time.
I think that feeling of not being needed is common amongst older women in particular, we do like to feel wanted. Now is the time, we can reflect that we haven’t done a bad job bringing up a family and start doing things to please us, we once this Covid is sorted.

AGAA4 Tue 10-Nov-20 16:10:09

I am not having a good day today. A family problem seems to have brought me down. I am usually practical and supportive but it has drained me today.
This thread is such a help as I know I am not alone in finding life's challenges much harder this year.
flowers to anyone else having a bad day.

Gymstagran Tue 10-Nov-20 17:40:15

I'm with you polnan I hate having to ask for help after always being so independent. And I worry about things of no consequence. Too many thoughts and too much time to think things over when the ability to get out and about is limited.

PamelaJ1 Tue 10-Nov-20 18:08:45

Well here I am, I have a husband, chat to family on Messenger very regularly and am happy(well reasonably) not to see DD and family for a month.
Am happy to bubble with someone but how do we find each other? Swipe right or left?
We have a village help group but no one seems to need help here.

Nonni53 Sat 21-Nov-20 22:35:44

I live alone and have been for many years now. I have two grown children, one lives in the same town I do (my son) and another lives the next state over (my daughter). I have some friends that I can call if I need to chat which I'm grateful for. I, too, am a strong person but this pandemic is very tough to navigate living alone. There is no one to bounce things off of, there is no one to talk to, be comforted by, feel companionship with. I don't see my friends or my family due to the numbers being so high. I am working completely from home as well. Again, very grateful for my job but I miss the daily interaction with people.
I think everyone's situation is different and people cope in different ways. Whatever works for someone is a good thing! I would love to have a trusted companion to navigate this experience with; I think it would be less scary going through this with another person. I really miss seeing everyone, especially my grandkids.

Dorsetcupcake61 Sun 22-Nov-20 09:17:47

Hi Nonni53 ?. I do identify with what you have written. I'm assuming you are in the USA as you mentioned your daughter living in the next state.
I think as the months pass our feelings change. I personally feel in the UK during our initial lockdown there was more of a sense of hope and unity,not just within the UK but worldwide. Now it all seems chaotic.! Of course Christmas adds to the mix. I'm quite prepared for Christmas on my own. My eldest daughter who lives several hours away is pretty determined to be able to visit,even if just a round trip to drop off presents in a socially distanced way. I'm happy to forgo presents until whenever. I do feel that she has felt more cut off with her husband and family though as the rest of the family live nearer to me. Time will tell,and whatever is safe and legal! With regards to her and her families gifts I am more circumspect. I have homemade gifts for her and my grandsons which I can post. For their other gifts they have an list of suggestions (which I asked for). These I will have delivered to her house. That way at least they will have gifts from me on Christmas Day.
The ordinary run up to Christmas feels increasingly uncertain. I normally enjoy all the pre Christmas planning and festivities. For me it seems a little bittersweet to watch the festive baking shows I normally enjoy. The solution I have found is American/Canadian baking shows that are incredibly festive and cheerful. The advantage is that the recipes and ingredients are so very different its all quite new and entertaining! A wonderful way of feeling festive??

alchemilla Mon 30-Nov-20 19:49:42

There are huge numbers of people prepared to help. You need to phone your council to be directed or ask your church or mosque ... I know dozens of people who are phoning single people regularly and providing food, meals and walks.