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If your friends and family live far away, a good way to stay in touch, especially with grandchildren, is by using a personal computer or tablet (a handheld computer).You can share emails and photos with family and friends, have free video chats using services such as Skype, Face Time or Viber, and make new online "friends" or reconnect with old friends on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and website forums.If you would prefer for someone else to host, Contact the Elderly is a charity that holds regular free Sunday afternoon tea parties for people over the age of 75 who live alone.You will be collected from your home and driven to a volunteer host's home for the afternoon.A tablet computer can be especially useful if you can't get around very easily, as you can sit with it on your knee or close to hand and the screen is clear and bright.A sponge-tip stylus pen or speech recognition may help if the touchscreen is difficult for arthritic hands or fingers with poor circulation.Hundreds of thousands of elderly people are lonely and cut off from society in this country, especially those over the age of 75.According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
But often friends, family and neighbours will appreciate receiving an invitation to come and spend some time with you.
Apply online or call Contact the Elderly on 0800 716 543.
Having a chat with a friend or relative over the phone can be the next best thing to being with them.
People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons, such as getting older or weaker, no longer being the hub of their family, leaving the workplace, the deaths of spouses and friends, or through disability or illness.
Whatever the cause, it's shockingly easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable, which can lead to depression and a serious decline in physical health and wellbeing.