The Campaign to End Loneliness is concerned by the evidence of low levels of human contact available for older people as reported by Equality and Human Rights Commission publication today.

With care workers providing the main daily contact for many of the people they visit, it is vital that they have time to provide adequate social contact not just meet physical needs. At the very least they should be able to identify and refer those who are isolated and lonely on to specific support networks.

Laura Ferguson, Director of the Campaign to End Loneliness emphasised the need to consider preventing loneliness as a step that can prevent further health complications: “Being at home alone for increasingly long periods during the day is a risk factor in becoming more isolated and lonely and yet this is the reality for older people. Quite simply, if you are lonely over time you are more likely to become ill. Care workers must be supported to identify and refer those who are suffering from loneliness. This simply and cost effective measure is likely to reduce the vulnerability of older people and hospital readmissions”.