Author: Age Cymru
Published on 02 March 2017 07:30 AM
Wales could soon be facing a loneliness epidemic among its older population if local authorities do not take action now to tackle the problem.
That’s according to our ‘No one should have no one – tackling loneliness and isolation in Wales’ campaign.
Isolation and loneliness are a daily reality for many older people in Wales, with 75,000 of them saying they are ‘always or often’ lonely.
The impact of dealing with the physical and mental health effects of loneliness is also putting added pressure on local authority and health services.
“Age Cymru believes the causes of isolation and loneliness among older people in Wales should be addressed as a national public health priority and we want a national conversation about it” says our Chief Executive, Ian Thomas.
“There are many reasons why older people can become isolated – such as poor transport; an inaccessible built environment in our towns and cities, and a lack of local amenities and facilities, including public toilets.
“And while the effects of this isolation may not be immediately obvious, being lonely can increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and most worryingly there is a proven link between loneliness, depression and suicide.
“With our ageing population, this situation will continue to get worse and there will be a national isolation epidemic in Wales unless we take steps now and tackle isolation as a national public health priority.”