Age UK produces loneliness map
Age UK have produced an online map of the risk of loneliness in England for people aged 65+
Using data obtained from the "English Longitudinal Study on Ageing", Age UK have produced an online map of the risk of loneliness in England for people age 65+.
The team claim that this study is the only one which has looked at whether the individual feels lonely rather than judging loneliness by a proxy, in particular social isolation.
Loneliness is defined in the study as "a negative emotion associated with a perceived gap between the quality and quantity of social relationships that we have and those that we want. It is a subjective experience."
The Age UK team identified the following main risks:
- Being in poor health was by far the biggest factor associated with chronic loneliness
- The next most important were being widowed and living alone.
- Some factors normally assumed to be associated with loneliness, such as area deprivation, poverty and living in a rural area, proved not to be significant.
The Campaign To End Loneliness refers to research stating that loneliness and social isolation are as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. It refers to research stating that loneliness contributes significantly to cognitive decline, dementia and clinical depression.
The Campaign has produced useful guidance to Local Authority Commissioners available here
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Austin Thornton on 0114 267 5588.
To keep up to date with further updates from the Wrigleys Health & Care team, you can follow on Twitter here
The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors