Funds raised will enable the charity to continue with its campaigning, pioneering work in relation to the mental health and wellbeing of older people. In particular its focus on one of the great unspoken health challenges: loneliness which can increase the risk of death in older people by 26%.
Loneliness in later life can be a real challenge on a daily basis. Many people become lonely due to the loss of a loved one, spouse or due to having developed an illness or disability. Loneliness is a common human emotion. It is a negative and personal feeling: when this feeling persists, it can have an impact on wellbeing, mental health and quality of life. The ageing population trends suggest that older people who are often lonely will increase to 2 million by 2026. Urgent action is needed now!
Lonely people's needs are complex. Loneliness is the pain we feel when our social connections do not meet our needs. Tackling loneliness requires more than simple social activities. Our own research surveys show that 77% of older people who are lonely also want to feel more connected to their community. We will create age friendly community groups with emphasis placed on individual bespoke meaningful conversations. We will recruit and train volunteers in a relationship centred model of care: Senses Framework.