Coun John Wilmott’s guest column: Play your part in ending loneliness for elderly people in Nottinghamshire

John Wilmott, Labour candidate in Hucknall North
John Wilmott, Labour candidate in Hucknall North

Having been to the seminar at the Playhouse theatre on the campaign to end loneliness I came out of the meeting feeling very sad having just witnessed a report on an elderly resident who was being visited by a carer.

The lady said to the visitor “I am waiting to die.” A heart wrenching statement that stunned the audience into silence.

Loneliness is a hidden killer of elderly people, and we must call for greater recognition of the link between isolation and ill health, the warnings are there for all to see. Older people are at increased risk of depression, lack of exercise and bad diet.

The statistics now say one in ten elderly people suffers from intense loneliness.

The campaign organisers want loneliness to be recognised as a public health issue and has published a survey claiming that most people are not aware of the link between poor health and loneliness.

While people are aware of the emotional problems of loneliness, few recognise the physical damage.

The warning is elderly people are trapped in their own home by a lack of mobility and the loss of family and friends.

A lack of social interaction can make older people more vunerable to depression.

And to problems such as excessive drinking, poor diet, and a reduction in exercise.

The problem of loneliness and isolation need to be put on an equal footing with any other condition associated with ageing.

Ending loneliness should be part of the solution to the challenge of reforming care and support.

The campaign wants to highlight the importance of loneliness in the lives of the elderly.

More than half of people over the age of 75 are living alone and about one in 10 says he or she suffers

from intense loneliness.

It is reported that almost one in five elderly people sees family, friends or neighbours less than once a week and about one in 10 experience visitors less than once a month.

The campaign to end loneliness has been set up to ensure that as many people as possible In Nottinghamshire, Ashfield, and Hucknall are doing all that they can to tackle the factors that can cause loneliness.

The real impact on an older persons health is just as damaging as lifelong smoking and alcoholism, and it is more detrimental to health than obesity and Inactivity.

some of the facts and figures show that more than one million people 65 and over feel very lonely, and more than 27,000 older people in Nottinghamshire feel trapped in their own home.

More than 100,000 older people in Nottinghamshire say their TV is their main company, while around 39,000 older people in Nottinghamshire are in contact with friends and neighbours and family less than once a week.

The aims of the campaign is to reduce chronic loneliness for older people.

Age U.K. Nottinghamshire believe that individuals can change the lives of the elderly.

A small act of kindness will make a great deal of difference to older people’s lives.

Pledge to ring an older person once a week or pledge to arrange a coffee morning in your community that will challenge people to socialise more.

The Age UK Advise Hotline can be contacted on 0115 844 0011.