Left unaddressed this can cause long-term misery and contribute to the development of serious medical conditions, such as heart problems and strokes, mental health issues and dementia.
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Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, commented: ‘Chronic loneliness is not only horrible to experience day in, day out, it can also have a devastating impact on an older person’s mental and physical health. That’s why at Age UK we are committed to being here year round for older people, to help tackle the loneliness that is blighting far too many later lives.
‘There is something we can all do to make a positive difference to the older people around us. Having a friendly chat with an older person on the bus or in a shop, or offering to help an elderly neighbour with their shopping if the weather is bad, can do more good than most of us would ever guess, and at very little cost to ourselves. In fact I guarantee you’ll feel better too as a result.’
Anyone who is experiencing feelings of loneliness or is worried about an older relative or friend can call Age UK Advice free of charge on 0800 169 6565, visit www.ageuk.org.uk/no-one or contact their local Age UK to see what services are available locally.
For more information on No one should have no one, including how to donate and get involved, people can go to www.ageuk.org.uk/no-one