2 February 2011
Loneliness can be particularly damaging to older people's cardiovascular health and the issue is now being tackled by a number of leading charities in the UK.
Independent Age, Age UK Oxfordshire, Counsel and Care and WRVS have joined forces to launch the Campaign to End Loneliness. Funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the campaign claims that loneliness is a "hidden killer" and can cause physical, as well as emotional, problems.
The charities hope that the initiative will raise awareness of the plight of older people - particularly those who have little or no contact with the outside world.
"Loneliness adversely affects the immune and cardiovascular systems" and can result in hugely detrimental lifestyle choices - such as poor diet and heavy drinking," campaign director Laura Ferguson said.
She added: "The problems of loneliness and isolation need to be put on an equal footing with any other condition associated with ageing."
The Campaign to End Loneliness claims that 12 per cent of older people feel trapped in their own homes.
1 Campaign to End Loneliness - Connections in Older Age". Campaigntoendloneliness.org. Tuesday, February 1st 2011.
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