Northampton june 2014 Dr AHY

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Northampton june 2014 Dr AHY

  1. 1. Loneliness and Isolation Active and participating ALAN HATTON-YEO COMMUNITIES FOR ALL AGES UK JUNE 12TH 2014
  2. 2. Loneliness and social isolation in the United Kingdom • Between 6% and 13% of people aged over 65 say they feel always or very lonely (Victor, 2011) • 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11% are in contact less than once a month (Victor et al, 2003) • Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (ONS, 2010) • Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014) • 63% of adults aged 52 or over who have been widowed, and 51% of the same group who are separated or divorced report, feeling lonely some of the time or often (Beaumont, 2013) • 59% of adults aged over 52 who report poor health say they feel lonely some of the time or often, compared to 21% who say they are in excellent health (Beaumont, 2013) • A higher percentage of women than men report feeling lonely some of the time or often (Beaumont, 2013)
  3. 3. Loneliness and physical health • The effect of loneliness and isolation on mortality exceeds the impact of well- known risk factors such as obesity, and has a similar influence as cigarette smoking (Holt-Lunstad, 2010) • Loneliness increases the risk of high blood pressure (Hawkley et al, 2010) • Lonely individuals are also at higher risk of the onset of disability (Lund et al, 2010)
  4. 4. Loneliness and mental health • Loneliness puts individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline (James et al, 2011) • One study concludes lonely people have a 64% increased chance of developing clinical dementia (Holwerda et al, 2012) • Lonely individuals are more prone to depression (Cacioppo et al, 2006) (Green et al, 1992) • Loneliness and low social interaction are predictive of suicide in older age (O’Connell et al, 2004)
  5. 5. Maintaining independence Academic research is clear that preventing and alleviating loneliness is vital to enabling older people to remain as independent as possible. Lonely individuals are more likely to: • Visit their GP, have higher use of medication, higher incidence of falls and increased risk factors for long term care (Cohen, 2006) • Undergo early entry into residential or nursing care (Russell et al, 1997) • Use accident and emergency services independent of chronic illness. (Geller, Janson, McGovern and Valdini, 1999)
  6. 6. • WE ARE WELL AWARE OF THE RISK FACTORS Onset of sensory impairment Mobility difficulties Retirement: loss of role, money & contribution Becoming a carer, caring, ceasing to care Bereavement Existing social exclusion Rural isolation “Safeguarding the convoy”
  7. 7. What the evidence tells us: Cost-effectiveness of acting sooner “Not done to, thank you very much” Finding a new way of giving Targeting specific groups Befriending, Mentoring, Gatekeeping Bringing generations together Investing in/not cutting enablers eg transport, exercise, clubs And pursuing evidence on new approaches
  8. 8. Active Participation: Engagement not Befriending Part of something bigger Contributing Learning Valued Recognising that we all have a future

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