“Loneliness Kills”

Less than six months ago I was writing about the many thousands of older people who live a lonely later life.

Now from the University of Chicago, a research study shows clear scientific evidence of the link between social isolation and ill-health.  Social isolation is known to increase the risk of premature death by as much as a third.    Comparable to the impact of smoking and obesity.  Yet it attracts far less attention and even less action.

The Chicago researchers found a physical link between loneliness and increased “fight or flight” responses in the nervous system.   This in turn has the potential to lower their immune system and make lonely people more susceptible to diseases.

More than half of the over 75’s the UK live alone and an estimated 5 million pensioners have only a TV on for company.    Time for some Government action on the same scale as the No Smoking or healthy eating campaigns.

Or at least let old people smoke and eat themselves to a happy death.

(See the earlier posts by clicking on “Same Old, Same Old” in the TAG CLOUD).

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This entry was posted in ELDERLY UK POLICY and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “Loneliness Kills”

  1. This blog takes me back to Bloggs in Sept 2015, and an earlier one in Feb 2015, with reference to Warren, and Retirement Villages in Florida: How do or does the American Society combat loneliness of the more mature citizen, who is house bound, maybe less mobility? Do they suffer the same logistical and personal problems as we do within the UK, or to some extent the ex pat communities in Spain, Portugal, Maderia and the Canary Isles?
    While we are active and with a partner, maybe we seek to live life together to the fullest, of interests, in travel and sunshine, in our golden years.
    A question for us all to reflect on: ‘ why are we lonely’, do we lack social contact with are fellow human beings, are we being selfish?, By not considering while we have the ability while younger in life? either single or with a partner or family, consider the latter days in life, and maybe the younger family members or offspring having to move away for reasons, not previously considered, especially if we have decided to reside in a country where English is not our or ones native tongue?
    There may be some solutions in all the locations mentioned, and possible support services provided by the local communities, that satisfy the individual requirements.
    To consider only the UK, and England in particular, one has the Hanover Trust, Macthay Stone,, the Extracare Charitble Trust, and Audley Trust? Various housing associations ( Midland Heart being one) and then the Residential Homes such as the Anchor Homes Trust, among many others depending on ones location within the UK.
    Some are offering small schemes/retirement homes complexes or rather more daring and larger complex retirement villages. The question is what does one require? and consider essential such as full nursing support, domiciarly care, or isolated habitation within a community, and/ or a local or independent support nursing/care service? Does one purchase such a style of living independently, by direct purchase/shared-ownership, or a await a vacancy on the council- social housing list?
    Again at what age do we to aspire to such a residency 55+ or later 65/75/85, or somewhere in between.
    And yet again is this what we wish for as an individual? the question is ‘ what is loneliness and can it be self inflicted by insufficient forethought, either as individuals, or more importantly as a society? are we doing enough? Does the above Blog appear reasonable? Answers on a post card please.

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