The director of a new home care company in Hampshire is preparing for an isolation challenge in a bid to raise awareness of loneliness among older people.
Kat Thomas, director of Bluebird Care Gosport, will isolate herself for seven days and make a video diary, talking about mental health and the emotional ramification of isolation.
She will reside in a self-contained flat and will have no access to the outside world, either through technology or visitors.
Explaining her thoughts about taking on the challenge, Thomas said: “The closer we get to the experience, the more anxious and nervous I get, I have to keep reminding myself why I’m doing it. If this campaign opens even one person’s eyes and drives them to connect with an elderly neighbour then it will have been worth it. Obviously I am hoping for a bigger reaction but all change is change.
“I consider myself a strong, outgoing person but like a lot of people I am guilty of self-doubt and over-thinking things. I am worried about how the lack of communication will affect me mentally and how if I am feeling low, the choice to pick up the phone and call a friend is not there.
“That being said, I am really looking forward to embarking on a year of raising awareness of such an important issue and look forward to getting as many people as possible involved in this project.”
Thomas is taking on the isolation challenge as part of Bluebird Care Gosport’s Unite Against Loneliness Campaign, which will run throughout 2019.
The campaign, led by Thomas, is running in partnership with The Silver Line, the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK.