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Government pledge to reduce the number of lonely people

The government’s recent ‘Loneliness Annual Report January 2020’ outlines plans to combat the growing number of lonely people in the UK.

It is estimated that between 6% and 18% of the entire population often feels lonely, with many of the suffers, perhaps unsurprisingly, coming from the older generations. Indeed, according to research conducted by Age UK, almost 2 million older people frequently feel lonely or invisible, going weeks at a time without speaking to a family member, friend or neighbour. 

The minister for Civil Society, Baroness Diana Baron, has said that tackling loneliness “will require long-term action from government, business and civil society and a change in public attitudes. Everyone has a role to play in building a national conversation on loneliness, improving the evidence base and considering relationships and loneliness across our decision making.”

The proposals for tackling loneliness

In a bid to get the whole nation behind tackling what is fast becoming an epidemic, the measures outlined in the report include:

  • Teaching young people about loneliness in schools
  • Launching a fund with the aim of encouraging older people to join volunteering activities
  • Government correspondence to those registering a death to include advice on how to get support for loneliness 
  • Discussions between top employers on what can be done to help staff overcome loneliness. 

Why is tackling loneliness so important?

Loneliness has a negative impact on every single aspect of our lives, including our health, wellbeing, self-esteem and productivity. It can lead to such health problems as coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s and it has also been linked to contributing to early deaths.

Not only does this put an additional strain on the already stretched healthcare system and charitable organisations, it stops people living happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. 

There are a number of simple things we can all do to help tackle loneliness, such as regularly checking in on friends and relatives who live on their own, chatting with people in the supermarket checkout and volunteering to become a companion to a lonely person in your local area. 

Burley’s Home Care is an award-winning home care provider based in Hampshire who provides personalised care packages to those who need them, including companionship and social support. To find out more about the services our friendly and compassionate staff provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Burley’s team - we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions.