A survey has found that one in five older people in the UK feel lonely and say they have no-one to turn to.
The Campaign to End Loneliness charity want a “range of support” for older people to help them fight loneliness, reports the BBC.
The charity says that transport and technology are essential to support older people and are launching an online guidance service for local authorities.
As its survey on loneliness is published, the charity warns thatresearch has shown loneliness and isolation are as risky to health in older people as “smoking 15 cigarettes a day”.
Campaign to End Loneliness director Lauren Alcock-Ferguson said the survey findings were disheartening.
“Local authorities are currently making crucial decisions about their services and need to recognise the potentially devastating impact that these changes, even in areas like transport, may have on an older person’s ability to stay in touch with their friends, family and neighbours. We need local authorities to address the many triggers of loneliness by maintaining and providing essential services that older people rely on to stay connected.”
Izzi Seccombe, who chairs the Local Government Association Community Wellbeing Board, said it recognised the health benefits to the elderly accessing care in the community, but added: “As council budgets continue to come under pressure, it is a sad reality that local authorities will have to continue making difficult decisions about the services they provide. This can often be at the expense of other valuable services like libraries, parks and leisure centres, which can help to keep people independent, health and well.”
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