More than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member.
Age UK says: “Contrary to what many people think, loneliness is not a normal part of ageing and it not only makes life miserable, it can have a serious impact on your physical and mental health too.”
“Unless we act, our rapidly ageing population means we’ll see ever greater numbers of lonely older people and, because loneliness undermines resilience, this also means more pressure on our already stretched NHS and social care services.”
Jenny supports the campaign and says: “Most of us in Darlington know someone who is getting on a bit and lives alone. We can all make someone’s life a little cheerier by popping in for a chat or even just saying hello.”
Age UK wants local and national government to understand that older people’s loneliness really matters; that it’s a serious public health problem and not a normal part of ageing, and we want them commit to take action with us to prevent and tackle it.
But loneliness definitely can't be fixed by Government alone, we all have a role to play:
- as individuals – by being friendly to the older people around us
- as families – by making the effort to stay in touch with older relatives, beyond our immediate family and those living nearby
- as communities – by actively supporting our local Age UK and other voluntary groups that help older people to have fun, make new friends and enjoy the company of others.
Age UK wants people to sign its petition. To do so and to find out more, go to: