Select Page

Combating loneliness in the UK

November 29, 2018  · 2 min read

Social isolation among older people is a longstanding issue that is increasing with a rapidly ageing global population.


In the UK, the loneliness epidemic has been widely reported. One particular finding stated that around “200,000 older people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month” illustrating the severity of the problem. 


Not only is loneliness linked to illnesses including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, but “it’s proven to be worse for health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Contact IFA Expert Dr Ian Philp, a UK leader in the field of ageing, for more information about the health impact of loneliness on older people.


To address the issue of loneliness, a Minister was appointed to confront this societal challenge and improve the experiences of socially isolated older people.



However, this is not the only step that has been taken to address increasing loneliness in the UK. General Practitioners in England will now be able to refer socially isolated patients to activities that could help tackle feelings of loneliness, a concept known as “social prescribing.” This will allow doctors to refer patients to social activities such as walking clubs and arts groups, instead of offering medication.



Doctors aren’t the only professionals getting involved in community initiatives aimed at combating loneliness. In Liverpool, social isolation in older people is being addressed through the Royal Mail’s “Feet on the Street” program, in which postal workers will stop and chat with older people on their delivery routes.  For Sue Whalley, the CEO of Royal Mail Post, this new community initiative builds on the work that postal workers already do and solidifies the “role we already play in tackling loneliness and isolation, providing individuals with a way to access the local services they really need."



Interested in learning more about the impact that loneliness has on older people? Contact Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary of the International Federation on Ageing to learn more about the global impact of loneliness on ageing populations.

Featured Experts:
Other Experts:
  • a

    Dr. Lauren Beaupre

    Population Health
    Frailty
    Cognitive Impairment
    Re-enablement
  • a

    Gary Finnegan

    Newspapers
    Media Relations
    Journalism
    Social Media
    Strategic Communications
  • a

    Dr. Isabella Ballalai

    Special Patients Vaccination
    Adult Vaccination
    Pediatrics
    Pediatric Vaccination
    Vaccination
    Adolescent Vaccination
    Elderly Vaccination
  • a

    Michael Adams

    Program Strategy
    Non-Profit Finance
    Strategic Planning
    Shaping Public Debate
    Persuasive Writing
    Board Relationships
    Media Spokesperson
  • a

    Dr. Mark S. Lachs

    Elder Abuse
    Neglect
    Adult Protective Services
    Functional Ability
    Ethics
    Health Care Finance
View More

Combating loneliness in the UK

November 29, 2018  · 2 min read

Social isolation among older people is a longstanding issue that is increasing with a rapidly ageing global population.


In the UK, the loneliness epidemic has been widely reported. One particular finding stated that around “200,000 older people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month” illustrating the severity of the problem. 


Not only is loneliness linked to illnesses including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, but “it’s proven to be worse for health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” Contact IFA Expert Dr Ian Philp, a UK leader in the field of ageing, for more information about the health impact of loneliness on older people.


To address the issue of loneliness, a Minister was appointed to confront this societal challenge and improve the experiences of socially isolated older people.



However, this is not the only step that has been taken to address increasing loneliness in the UK. General Practitioners in England will now be able to refer socially isolated patients to activities that could help tackle feelings of loneliness, a concept known as “social prescribing.” This will allow doctors to refer patients to social activities such as walking clubs and arts groups, instead of offering medication.



Doctors aren’t the only professionals getting involved in community initiatives aimed at combating loneliness. In Liverpool, social isolation in older people is being addressed through the Royal Mail’s “Feet on the Street” program, in which postal workers will stop and chat with older people on their delivery routes.  For Sue Whalley, the CEO of Royal Mail Post, this new community initiative builds on the work that postal workers already do and solidifies the “role we already play in tackling loneliness and isolation, providing individuals with a way to access the local services they really need."



Interested in learning more about the impact that loneliness has on older people? Contact Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary of the International Federation on Ageing to learn more about the global impact of loneliness on ageing populations.

Featured Experts:
Other Experts:
  • a

    Dr. Isabella Ballalai

    Special Patients Vaccination
    Adult Vaccination
    Pediatrics
    Pediatric Vaccination
    Vaccination
    Adolescent Vaccination
    Elderly Vaccination
  • a

    Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews

    Public Policy
    Work
    Carers and Caregiving
    Active Ageing
  • a

    Prof. Suzanne Martin

    New and Emerging Technologies in Health and Social Care
    Disabilities
    Human Computer Interaction
    Occupational Healthcare
    Community Care Policy and Practice
    Electronic Assistive Technologies
    Ageing in Place
    Supported Housing Options
  • a

    Prof. Leocadio Rodriguez Mañas

    Physical exercise in older people
    Frailty
    Diabetes
    Health Systems
  • a

    Dr. Manuel Carrageta

    Internal Medicine
    Cardiology
    Clinical Pharmacology
    Geriatrics
View More

Recent Articles

Share This