“If we can create a society that brings people together, rather than isolating them, then we will not only have a happier society but one with less health costs to meet.” Dan Corry, New Philanthropy Capital
Loneliness can kill. It has been proven to be more detrimental to health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with a 30% increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Below are some of the results of a Community Life Survey (CLS) carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in England in 2016 – 2017:
- People in poor health or who have conditions they describe as “limiting” were also at particular risk of feeling lonely more often.
- People who feel that they belong less strongly to their neighbourhood reported feeling lonely more often.
- People who have little trust of others in their local area reported feeling lonely more often.
Three profiles of people at particular risk from loneliness were identified:
- Widowed older homeowners living alone with long-term health conditions.
- Unmarried, middle-agers with long-term health conditions.
- Younger renters with little trust and sense of belonging to their area.