Wednesday, 11 January 2017

No one should have no one

Christmas is over and almost a million of people in the UK aged over 60 felt lonelier at Christmas time (via). Feeling lonely continues: About half a million people over the age of 60 usually spend every day alone.

"Most of us have felt very lonely and alone at some point in our lives. It’s a profoundly personal and painful experience and people can feel completely hopeless. Luckily for many, life moves on and these feelings pass.

But for some of us loneliness can become chronic, making us miserable and often causing us to lose self-confidence. It can become increasingly difficult to build new and meaningful relationships that could restore our sense of self and self-worth. The fact that loneliness carries a stigma can make it hard to admit to it and seek help. And often people don’t know where to go for support.

Chronic loneliness is affecting a growing number of older people, in line with the increase in the older population. Age UK estimates that over a million older people are lonely. (...)

Being miserable is bad enough, but there is evidence that chronic loneliness increases the risk of serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions and strokes, depression and dementia, as well as making it much harder for an individual to help themselves and manage their conditions through exercise and good diet. (...)

A survey of 1,000 GP practices found that nearly 90 per cent felt that some patients were coming because they were lonely, and 14 per cent estimated they were seeing six or more patients a day for this reason."

::: Download: Age UK ( December 2016) No one should have no one. Working to end loneliness amongst older people. 16 pages

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photograph of Margaret Morse Nice (1883-1974) via