Combating loneliness and isolation in older people is something that Ashridge Home Care founder Trudi Scrivener feels extremely passionate about. The quiet epidemic of loneliness in the elderly may have come into renewed focus during COVID-19, but we need to make sure that it stays at the top of our minds.
There are no recent data available about social isolation and loneliness in Buckinghamshire. However, information from national publications and 2015 research can provide further indications of the likely prevalence of these problems in the local population:
- Around 10% of people over 65 in the UK are experiencing chronic
loneliness at any given time. In Buckinghamshire this would be around 9,400 people
- The 2011 census found that 11.8% of people of pension age in Buckinghamshire are living alone, which may be a contributing factor to isolation.
- Adults with learning disabilities of all ages are at risk of social isolation.
Nationwide, 51% feel lonely and 64% don’t see their friends enough. In Buckinghamshire this would equate to 3,646 adults with learning disabilities feeling lonely and 4,576 who do not see their friends as often as they would like.
- 8 in 10 carers in the UK have felt lonely or socially isolated as a result of caring. The 2011 census showed that over 49,000 Buckinghamshire residents are carers, 17% for 50+ hours a week. 28% of carers providing 50+ hours of care a week are over 65.
- 3 in 10 of those aged 80 and over report being lonely. For Buckinghamshire this would be 8,040 people over 80 who feel lonely and would be expected to rise to 14,460 by 2030. While people can feel lonely at any age, older people are likely to face multiple life experiences which are known to influence loneliness, such as bereavement, illness and disability, caring responsibilities and reduction in income.
Read the latest guest blog post from Heart of Bucks Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing Trudi Scrivener, about tackling loneliness in the elderly.
As Health & Wellbeing Ambassador, Trudi is using her local expertise and over 30 years experience in social and health care to help the charity continue its crucial work to create a culture of giving that strengthens and supports communities throughout Buckinghamshire.
Trudi is the founder of specialist live-in home care provider Ashridge Home Care and has previously worked in both charity and housing association organisations and brings a wealth of experience in service provision. Trudi’s experience includes care and support to people with complex needs, including autism, challenging behaviour, profound and multiple learning difficulties and also specialist dementia care.
Heart of Bucks Community Foundation is a registered charity and part of a network of 47 community foundations across the UK, all committed to making a difference to the lives of local people. The charity have supported more than 3,500 community organisations since their first grant payment in 2000. To date, they have distributed over £8.7m in grants and loans across Buckinghamshire.
Buckinghamshire has an ageing population and there is expected to be an increase in adult social care clients of over 29% over the next 10 years, of whom an additional 5% will be over the age of 65. There will be increasing needs for tailored care and support to help older people live as independently as possible for as long as possible while ensuring they have the social contact they need.
Coping with Loneliness – Who to talk to in Buckinghamshire
You might want to talk to someone about how you feel or get some advice on what you can do to meet people locally. Below are some organisations that may be able to provide help and support.
Loneliness can affect us all. Please reach out to the people in your life who might be isolated and make them smile – have a cup of tea with your elderly neighbour, give your nan a ring, or text a friend who you haven’t seen out for a while.