Older people at risk could receive support through ‘loneliness maps'

  • A report has found that the rising problem of loneliness could be supported by maps that show where older people are more likely to be at risk. /images/blog/older_people.png

    Published by the Campaign to End Loneliness, the Hidden Citizens report has said this study has already seen success in Gloucestershire and Essex. The maps are to be used to target limited resources for the people and places that need them most, reports the BBC.

    Laura Alcock-Ferguson, director for the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: "If local councils and services do not act now to find the people experiencing severe loneliness, we are likely to see the consequences in our hospitals and social care services. Loneliness and isolation in older age is a serious public health issue and increases the risk of conditions including dementia, high blood pressure and depression."

    The report describes how Gloucestershire County Council has adapted a model used by Essex County Council when it created its own loneliness map.

    Factors such as low income, living in a household with one occupant and not owning a car were taken into consideration when assessing the potential for loneliness.

    Neil Dixon, the council's joint strategic needs analysis manager, said: "The map we've adapted from a model by Essex County Council means that we can work out how many people could be lonely and where those people need us most."

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