Improve Local Policy
The Local Government Association’s Ageing Well programme and the Campaign to End Loneliness have produced a guide for councils interested in taking action at a local level to combat loneliness.
Combating loneliness: a guide for local authorities offers a brief summary of key research on the issue of loneliness, and some practical steps every local authority, working in partnership with other local actors, can take to tackle the problem.
Loneliness is a significant and growing issue for many older people
Around 10% of people aged over 65 report feeling lonely all or most of the time and the number of people in the age group who experience loneliness sometimes is increasing, from 19% to 38% over the past 6 decades.
This means that nearly half of older people suffer from loneliness and as our local population age all local authorities – with their responsibility for health and social care, public health, housing services and community safety – are under increasing pressure to act to help older people stay connected and supporter by friends and their community.
Its impacts are devastating and costly
Loneliness makes us more vulnerable in older age to developing chronic health problems, depression and increases our need for social care services or residential care.
Loneliness has comparable health impacts for individuals to life-long smoking and obesity, and close links to depression and deprivation.
Loneliness is amenable to interventions
These are often low cost and effective in reducing the need for health and care services in future. By combatting loneliness, councils can diminish the vulnerability of older residents as well as improve and sustain a quality of life across their locality.
Effective action to combat loneliness is usually delivered in partnership
This often involves harnessing significant voluntary effort from individuals and community groups.
More information on partnership working to combat loneliness can be found in the conference summary from our recent Vital Connections conference, co-hosted with the Centre for Social Justice.
If you work for a local authority and are committed to improving quality of life for your older residents, we invite you to become a supporter today. As a supporter, you will stay informed on the latest research and initiatives that tackle loneliness in older age, learn from our work with Health and Wellbeing Boards and be part of a wider network of organisations, individuals and authorities who are committed to ending loneliness.
The Campaign to End Loneliness, in partnership with the Local Government Association’s Ageing Well programme, has produced a guide for councils interested in taking action at a local level to combat loneliness.
This guide offers a brief summary of key research on the issue of loneliness, and some practical steps every local authority,
working in partnership with other local actors, can take to tackle the problem. These are illustrated by case studies drawn from around the country.
If you are a local group or member of the public and think your local council could learn from the work of the Campaign to End Loneliness why not write to them today? You might want to use information from our work with the Department or Health or send some of our postcards. All councils have elected members responsible for health or wellbeing, and you can find them here.