Welcome to the latest instalment in our Awkward Conversations series.
Awkward Conversations is an IMPACT Community Services' initiative where we explore some of the challenging issues happening in homes across the region.
Today we look at how to get back out into social life after the passing of a long-time partner.
Widow: Since my husband passed away 5 years ago, I’ve been so lonely. I’ve lost contact with the friends we used to have and I’m not sure I want to re-connect with them now. How do I make friends in a place like Bundaberg? Everyone seems to know each other and I don’t have the confidence I used to have to start talking to strangers. Any help you can provide would be great because it’s getting me more and more depressed.
Friend: Well, first I'd think about visiting a doctor to talk about your depression, and if your GP thinks that there are solutions in community organisations, then perhaps ask for a referral to Ozcare who can assist you with linking to other services. There are lots of community programs and social groups you might want to investigate.
There is a Community Visitors Scheme that organises willing volunteers to visit you in your own home. You don't have to commit to anything but it might be nice to have a volunteer over for a cup of tea and a chat. You might even consider volunteering yourself. The good thing is that you know the person will be glad to see you because they've signed up for that very purpose. There are lots of ways to connect with people and you don't have to do it alone. There are lots of programs that are already set up for that very thing.
Make sure you keep an eye out as we explore more important topics in coming weeks. Our responses are purely hypothetical; each person's case will be different and what might be the right decision for one person may not be for another.
We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got a question you would like us to delve into. Simply share a comment on our Facebook page, or if it’s something you would prefer to keep confidential, email email@example.com