Isolation in communities

By Dr Wirin Bhatiani

Imagine living alone, with no real friends, no family support and no reason to leave the house apart from carrying out essential errands.

It’s true that some people like their own company, but living in isolation without much interaction with the wider community can have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing.

A lot of people associate social isolation with elderly people but it can affect people of any age.

As well as affecting your mental health, isolation can have a negative influence on your physical health too. And both have an impact on our health and care services.

That’s why in Bolton we are looking at a wide range of influences when it comes to changing the way we deliver health and care services.

Together with our partners we are investigating how we can work better together and fully integrate services.

As part of this we are looking at how communities can help each other and how being better connected and involved in the community can lead to better health outcomes for people.

Our vision is that people will be involved in their own health and wellbeing with the aim of staying well for longer and in their own homes.

This can only be achieved if people feel part of a strong, connected and engaged community.

There are already lots of people who work tirelessly to help other people in the community and I’d like to appeal to readers to help with this work.

Take the trouble to talk to your neighbours. Be aware of what’s happening in your neighbourhood.

Especially as colder weather approaches, we should be even more vigilant with those around us who may need extra help and consideration.

Good health is more than just what services can be provided by public sector organisations.

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