Published on 21 August 2012 02:00 PM
In response to figures revealing that a growing number of older people in Wales who are dying alone
Age Cymru’s Director of Influencing, Victoria Lloyd says:
“We find it incredibly sad that these people are dying without next of kin or others in a position to take responsibility for their funeral arrangements.
There could be a number of reasons for this which include the current economic climate and loneliness and isolation in older people. We know that 64% of people are concerned about loneliness as they age. Older people are vulnerable to loneliness due to life factors like retirement, ill health, loss of mobility, widowhood and caring obligations. With our ageing population in Wales and the UK, particularly the increase in the numbers of older people over the age of 80, loneliness is likely to increase in future years.
“Loneliness has negative impacts on quality of life for the individual, and there are huge benefits to the wider community of reducing loneliness and social isolation. People of all ages must feel at home in their own communities. We would urge everyone in touch with older people to look out for signs of loneliness and isolation. There are some fantastic projects that are taking place in communities across Wales that address isolation. Good Neighbour and befriending schemes, lunch clubs and social activities all provide a life line for many older people who would otherwise may not see anybody for days on end.
“We need more of these services to be available and we need to make sure older people know that they are there. “