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|Topic title||Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older People (2016)|
|Topic author(s)||Gill Oliver|
|Topic quality reviewed||October 2015|
|Topic endorsed by||Dementia & Older people’s Mental Health Group|
|Topic approved by||Approved by HWIG 20.04.16|
|Linked JSNA topics|
Loneliness is an individual’s sense that they lack the depth and quality of relationships with others that they feel they want or need. People can be alone and not feel lonely, or they may be with others and feel very lonely, as many people do who live in care homes. Loneliness is therefore slightly different to social isolation which is an absence of social contact, although it is clear that one can lead to the other. Loneliness can affect people of all ages but older people are particularly vulnerable since they are more likely to suffer poor physical or mental health and live alone. Research has found a fairly constant proportion (6-13 per cent) of older people feel lonely often or always[i].
There are already many interventions and groups running in Nottinghamshire which help to address loneliness. Unmet needs and gaps are identified in the next section.
[i] Safeguarding the convoy: a call to action from the campaign to end loneliness, Age UK Oxfordshire, 2011
Addressing loneliness and social isolation is a priority for the Health and Wellbeing Board and its stakeholders. The issues raised in this JSNA need to be incorporated into other health, social care and Public Health initiatives. While people of any age may suffer loneliness, older people generally are particularly at risk and of these there are gaps for some groups of people e.g.