The death of anyone close is tremendously difficult. If you find yourself living on your own for the first time in many years, this will have an impact on your everyday lifestyle and it can take time to get used to this.
You may need to learn to do things that your partner may have done or helped with, such as shopping, cooking or organising the household finances. If you have family or friends who you can ask for help they will often be happy to assist.
Age UK (formerly Age Concern and Help the Aged) has useful information on their website for people living on their own, as well as many free leaflets on a wide variety of topics. Despite the names of the organisation, much of the information is targeted at people over 50.
FirstStop is a new free service for older people, their families and carers.
GOV.UK is also a useful source of information on many topics including benefit entitlements. For emotional support and counselling, you can find the contact details of many organisations on the useful contacts sections of this site. Alternatively, you can call us for the details of organisations that are best suited to your individual needs and circumstances.
You may need more formal support to be able to continue living in your home, especially if the person who has died was your carer. Contact your local authority's social services department or your own doctor to ask for additional help. Many services are provided in partnership with the NHS and local and national charities such as the WRVS and Age UK.
If you need help with larger jobs around the home or want to be sure you are employing a reliable trades-person you can contact Foundations which is the government appointed national body for Home Improvement Agencies which exist to help older and vulnerable people to maintain their independence by providing housing-related support.
Meeting new people
Local newspapers, libraries and council one stop shops have information about local groups when you feel able to resume social activities. This can be difficult if you have been accustomed to always being one of a couple and for some people becoming a volunteer can help and is also an opportunity to meet new people.
GOV.UK has more information about volunteering, including any restrictions that may apply if you are on benefits because you are out of work, as well as links to the main organisations who coordinate volunteering opportunities both nationally and locally.
For details of all these organisations, please visit our useful contacts page, or please call us for the details of other organisations who may be able to help.