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More than a quarter of disabled people are lonely

20th April 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A survey conducted by a disabled charity has found that a quarter of people with disabilities feel lonely on a daily basis. This is especially true of those who rely on mobility aids such as wheelchairs and reconditioned stairlifts, as they are sometimes unable to leave the house on their own. The survey was partly inspired by previous research that highlighted that almost 70 per cent of people felt uncomfortable talking to disabled people.

In a report named ‘We All Need Friends’ that sums up the survey’s findings, Sense found that 23 per cent of respondents felt lonely on a typical day. Reasons for this include being unable to leave the home without a carer or finding locations for social interaction too loud or lowly lit. Finance was also a factor which affected respondents, as carers were sometimes only partially funded.

Seeking a remedy for disabled people experiencing loneliness

Many of those who participated in the survey said that they found it was difficult to maintain friendships, with some describing that they felt reclusive and cut off due to restrictions caused by their disability. A number of those surveyed with worsening conditions also found that friendships with people previous to this were also becoming difficult to maintain.

It was also mentioned that social media meant it was possible to keep in touch with friends, although it was also suggested that those questioned still desired to meet with people face to face. One particular respondent told the BBC that if meeting someone went badly, it had a large effect on his self-esteem, and he admitted that he often tells people that his social life is busier than it is.

The survey hopes to raise awareness about the loneliness many disabled people face and calls for local authorities to improve services in order to give those with disabilities the ability to maintain relationships with friends, as well as providing opportunities to meet new people.

Image Credit: Kurt Bauschardt (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.