Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

This 90-year-old has written a list of tips for people suffering from loneliness


Ever since his wife and sister passed away a few years ago, Derek Taylor has been overcome with loneliness.

The 90-year-old pensioner, who lives in Manchester, admits he felt “isolated and alone” after losing his loved ones. “The older you get, the less people seem to contact you,” he tells the BBC.

However, in a bid to channel his emotions into something positive, Taylor has done his best to free himself from what often feels like a form of solitary confinement, coming up with a list of 10 tips for reducing loneliness.

Read more: Why we are so scared of growing old

“I thought, ‘What can I do to stop feeling lonely?’ [...] These are simply the things I have done to keep myself active and involved,” explains Taylor. “I thought they might be useful for other older people living on their own.”

His list of tips to fight loneliness have proven incredibly popular – and have now been published in the Manchester City Council’s Age-Friendly Manchester Program handout.

  • Make an effort to make new friends
  • Join a hobbies club
  • Visit your local community or resource centre and find out what’s on offer
  • Learn to use a computer at your local library
  • Seek help from your local social services
  • Consider taking in a lodger or a paying guest
  • Use your telephone more often to contact people – don’t wait for people to contact you
  • Contact friends and relatives you haven’t spoken to recently
  • Make friends with your neighbours
  • Do voluntary work if you are able

Taylor also advises people suffering from loneliness to attend “coffee mornings” and to get involved in “all sorts of local activities” (he personally prefers gardening).

Read more: Pensioner offered bar job after “stop me dying of boredom” ad goes viral

Since writing the list, Taylor has taken his own advice and has become a lot more involved in his community. He has even made new friends by becoming an Age-Friendly Champion and via his campaigning projects.

“You feel as though you’re alive again,” he tells the BBC.

We love this pensioner’s incredible attitude to life, and fingers crossed his newfound “celebrity status” will encourage more of us to reach out and speak to an elderly person when we sit next to them on the bus or walk past them at the supermarket, or try to brighten up their day in some small way.

You can find out about Age UK’s befriending services (both telephone and face-to-face) on their website. Or, if you are worried about an elderly relative or neighbour, they also have advice on how best to overcome loneliness.



Jo Cox-inspired anti-loneliness badges are being handed out in London

joe bartley age uk loneliness job.JPG

Pensioner, 89, offered bar job after "stop me dying from boredom" ad


Revealed: the 17 ultimate bucket-list travel experiences



“Why I won’t stop campaigning against the DUP”

As the DUP and the Conservatives reach a deal, one woman explains why we can't afford to get complacent

by Moya Crockett
26 Jun 2017

All the best A-list snaps from Glastonbury

All the snaps you don't want to miss...

by Nicola Colyer
26 Jun 2017

Jo Cox memorial plaque unveiled by her children in Parliament

“More in common”

by Amy Swales
26 Jun 2017

Chrissy Teigen isn’t about to let anyone shame her for using IVF

She knows exactly how to deal with bullying Twitter trolls

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Jun 2017

Athlete runs 800m in Wonder Woman top (oh, and she’s pregnant)

“I have some pretty awesome maternity photos”

by Amy Swales
26 Jun 2017

“I think I love her, man”: 50 Cent confesses his crush on Helen Mirren

Well, who can blame him?

by Moya Crockett
26 Jun 2017

“How sexists missed the point of this pivotal Handmaid’s Tale scene”

Offred was just getting her tits out for the lads, apparently

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Jun 2017

Lena Dunham explains how health issues inspired new tattoos

“Been tatting myself up like crazy this month”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Jun 2017

The Dynasty reboot you've all been dreaming of is coming to Netflix

Big hair, big shoulder pads, big drama

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Lady Gaga just proved that she really isn't like the rest of us

Not your average hiking gear

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017