Response to latest ONS report
Published on 01 October 2015 03:00 PM
Commenting on ‘Insights into Loneliness, Older People and Well-being, 2015 - published today by the ONS - Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:
'This report provides yet more evidence that loneliness is rife in later life, particularly among the very oldest and most vulnerable.1 Loneliness blights the lives of far too many older people, casting a long shadow over their quality of life.
'Not only does loneliness make later life unbearably miserable, it's awful for our health too. We know that lonely older people are more likely to suffer health problems and to require long-term care, have a higher use of medication and need to visit their GP more often. This means that loneliness is placing further pressure on the NHS and social care services - making it an issue the Government simply can't afford to ignore.
'With an ageing population, loneliness in later life will continue to increase unless something changes. Truly, no one should have no one in our society and the Government must recognise loneliness and isolation in later life as the serious health hazards they are, and work with others, including charities and the NHS, to tackle them.'
Media contact: Helen Spinney
Tel: 020 3033 1430
Out of hours: 07071 243 243
Notes to editors
1 According to the ONS report, the over-80s are roughly twice as likely to be lonely than any other adults.
How Age UK can help
Older people and their families can call Age UK Advice for free on 0800 169 65 65 to find out how the Age UK network can help someone who may be feeling alone. Lines are open 365 days a year from 8am - 7pm. The Age UK Network provides support to older people to stay active, well and engaged with other people, ranging from lunch clubs to exercise classes.
We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).