Ageing well JSNA

Loneliness and isolation

In JSNA, loneliness is measured by the proportion of adult social care users who do not have as much social contact as they would like. In Rochdale borough in 2016/17 it was 49.1 per cent, above the England average of 45.4 per cent.

The extent of loneliness in older people

Loneliness is an issue in all population groups and ages but especially in older people because of loss of friends, family, mobility or income. Research by Victor et al (2003) found that 17 per cent of older people are in contact with family, friends and neighbours less than once a week and 11 per cent are in contact less than once a month.

The impact of loneliness on health and wellbeing

Loneliness is very harmful to health. It has been linked to the onset of dementia (Holwerda et al, 2012) and is associated with depression. It increases as people become less able to undertake routine activities. People who are lonely or isolated are more likely to be admitted to residential or nursing care (Social Care Institute for Excellence, 2011).

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the fall in ratings of personal well-being amongst the oldest age groups might result from a range of personal circumstances such as poor health, living alone and feelings of loneliness.

Statistics on loneliness

Guidance and information on loneliness and isolation