Feelings of loneliness and social isolation can affect people at any stage in their life, but are particularly acute for older people.
- Over 1 million older people say they are always lonely or often feel lonely
- Nearly half of older people say that television or pets are their main form of company
- 12 per cent of older people feel trapped in their own home
- Over half of all people aged 75+ live alone
- According to research for DWP, nearly a quarter (24%) of pensioners do not go out socially at least once a month.
Councils are at the centre of a ‘whole system’ approach, alongside partners in the health and voluntary sectors. They are central to identifying the key features makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them.
Since it is predicted that between 2008 and 2033 there will be large increases in the number of older people living alone, particular in the 85+ age range, the issue of loneliness and social isolation is likely to remain high on the policy agenda.
In this Seminar we are going to look at Social Isolation as that can impact on well being and loneliness and consider what forms of engagement communities and local authorities can offer to address this growing problem.
Social isolation is an objective state determined by the quantity of social relationships and contacts between individuals, across groups and communities.
The LGiU has produced a Briefing Paper on Loneliness and social isolation in older people written by Carol Grant and this seminar will be associated with the work done in developing that paper.
Participants of this workshop will gain:
- An understanding of the causes of loneliness and social isolation
- How we define loneliness and social isolation
- The impact of loneliness on the individual
- The impact of loneliness on services
- The importance of social networking and new technology
- What can be done by local authorities?
- Timely feedback and next steps
The morning session will be focused on defining social isolation and its impact on older people. What is its impact on a growing elderly population and what are the consequences for service delivery We will also consider how social isolation can be tackled often in very cost effective ways through social mapping and community engagement.
The afternoon session will consider what can be done by local authorities and communities and we will discuss this through several case studies. There will also be time for open forum discussion so that attendees can tell us about their own experience and ideas over what can be done.
09:30 Coffee and Registration
10:00 Introduction to day and overview (Francis Sealey, GlobalNet21)
10:10 Loneliness & Social Isolation – The Problem In Perspective (Carol Grant via Video author of the LGiU Briefing Paper)
10:30 Discussion & Concerns of Those Attending around The Issue of Loneliness.
10:45 Speaker on The Scale of The Problem – Miriam Christie from Campaign To End Loneliness
11:05 Julie Wrigley- Making A Difference Through Engagement
11:25 Questions to speakers
11:45 Open Session – Discussion Around Attendees Experience and Ideas
12:35 Overview of Afternoon (Francis Sealey)
12:45 Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age
13:05 Dvora Liberman – Storytelling & Engagement
13:25 Alex Kenmure from GoodGym. They match people who want to get into running with opportunities to do so by volunteering in their community, either by doing physical tasks for community groups, or by running to regularly visit an isolated older person.
13:45 Questions To Speakers
14:00 David Wilcox (Social Reporter) Digital Strategies For Combatting Isolation
14:20 Questions to speaker
14:35 Working Groups to examine ways forward
15:15 Feedback from Groups
15:30 Feedback on Day
* This programme was correct at the time of publication but may be altered to reflect speaker changes that are beyond our control.