Author: Age Cymru
Published on 11 January 2017 10:00 AM
Better public transport and lunch and social clubs could provide a lifeline for 75,000 older people across Wales who say they are often or always lonely.
That’s according to survey findings we are publicising today ahead of a Welsh Assembly debate about loneliness in Welsh communities.
“Loneliness and isolation can have serious health implications and be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day” says our Chief Executive Ian Thomas.
“Loneliness and isolation can heighten feelings of depression and anxiety and there is a proven link between loneliness, depression and suicide.
“But Age Cymru wants an age friendly Wales – one where all older people can live happy and fulfilling lives, so we’ve spoken to older people about their experiences of loneliness and asked them about potential solutions to this problem.”
According to our survey:
• 70 per cent of older people say free or subsidised transport to and from social events for older people would help tackle loneliness;
• 70 per cent of older people say lunch clubs and social clubs for older people would help tackle loneliness;
• 70 per cent of older people say regular visits from a friendly face for older people would help tackle loneliness;
• 58 per cent say a regular weekly phone call would help tackle loneliness;
“With Wales’ ageing population, we clearly need to get to grips with the problem of isolation and loneliness among older people or we fear it is one that will continue to get worse” concludes Ian Thomas.
The short debate ‘Hidden in plain sight: loneliness in Welsh communities, and how to tackle it‘, is being tabled by Joyce Watson AM for Mid and West Wales.