East Yorkshire health leaders to look at loneliness

Published: Tuesday 19th January 2016 by The News Editor

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Thousands of older people in East Yorkshire are struggling with loneliness, it is being estimated.

In a bid to get to grips with the problem, GPs, health and social care professionals and councillors are to discuss the effect that it can have on people’s health at a meeting in Withernsea.

The meeting is set to begin at 2pm on January 21 and is being staged at the South Holderness Resource Centre.

Public health director Dr Tim Allison will brief members of the East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board on a new report that outlines the scale and causes of loneliness and isolation in both the East Riding and the country as a whole.

The report also highlights the toll loneliness can take on people’s health as well as what is being done to combat the problem.

Dr Allison claims loneliness and isolation have a bigger impact on mortality than obesity, having a similar effect to smoking 15 cigarettes daily.

He adds: “Lonely individuals are at higher risk of the onset of disability. Loneliness puts individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline, and one study concluded that lonely people have a 64 per cent increased chance of developing clinical dementia.”

Across Britain it is thought over a million people aged 65 and above always or often feel lonely, a total equating to some 5,400 in the East Riding.

Copyright Press Association 2016

Published: Tuesday 19th January 2016 by The News Editor

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