Loneliness and isolation: evidence review
Loneliness and isolation are not the same. The causes of loneliness are not just physical isolation and lack of companionship, but also sometimes the lack of a useful role in society. Estimates of prevalence of loneliness tend to concentrate on the older population and they vary widely, with reputable research coming up with figures of 6%-13% of the UK population being described as often or always lonely. This evidence review has been produced in order to provide evidence to underpin decision-making for people involved in commissioning, service development, fundraising and influencing. It discusses: the policy context; what is known about loneliness and isolation in older people; and what has been done (including one-to-one services, group services, and community involvement) and how effective they were. The key messages from the evidence are listed.