Amid all the election talk of social care funding and ‘dementia tax’, there’s one crucial topic that the politicians are not discussing – loneliness. One in six people in the UK are aged over 65. A horrifying one in 10 of them say they are chronically lonely. With the over-65 population due to increase to one in four in the next 30 years, combined with a growing shortfall in social care provision, the problem may only get worse.
Extreme loneliness increases the chance of dying prematurely by 30 per cent. It is a significant factor in depression and social isolation.
How have we let this happen? Is our sense of community so broken that we can’t reach out to elderly neighbours, who perhaps haven’t talked to another human being for days and only have the TV for company? What do you think? What can we all do to help? Share your thoughts on the Forum now.
Simplyhealth Care Community team