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Your home is important. It provides a refuge from the outside world and is the place where you welcome your family and friends. Home is where you can relax, be yourself and feel secure.

Except it’s not like that for everyone.

If you are unable to get out and about regularly, perhaps because you are frail or disabled, or you are caring for someone else, your home may start feeling like your prison.

Instead of feeling isolated and lonely, why not find out if there are any befriending schemes or lunch clubs in your area? Even if your own family lives miles away – or in a different country – there are lots of people, often living alone and in a similar situation, who would enjoy your company.

If you have internet access, you might think about making friends online or joining one or more of the many online forums.

If you’re able to get out and about, there are plenty of ways to make new friends including groups and clubs and other activities.

Perhaps you are feeling unhappy because other people are making decisions for you and are not listening to what you want. If this is the case, there are people called ‘advocates’ who can help you make sure your voice heard.

You might be living with someone who is controlling or being violent or aggressive towards you. Perhaps you have been sexually assaulted or asked to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. If you are being abused or you think someone’s behaviour towards you might be abusive, it’s important to seek help. Remember, there are many organisations which can help. If you are in immediate danger, always call 999.

No-one can be happy at home all the time, but there is plenty you can do to stop you feeling unhappy.

Last updated: 03/05/2016