Combatting loneliness: a guide for local authorities
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
Local Government Association
Loneliness is a significant and growing issue for many older people. Research over decades has found that acute loneliness has been consistently estimated to affect around 10-13% of the population of older people. Over the same time period, there has been a growing percentage of older people who sometimes feel lonely. Loneliness makes older people vulnerable to developing chronic health problems, depression and increases the need for social care services or residential care. This guide offers a brief summary of key research on the issue of loneliness, and some practical steps every local authority, working in partnership with other statutory bodies and their partners, can take to tackle loneliness, setting them in the context of an overall framework for action. The described framework comprises 3 tiers of actions: at the strategic level across the local authority; at the level of the community; and at the level of the individual. Suggested practical steps are illustrated by case studies drawn from around the country.