Key Theme Eight
Key Theme 8: Optimising independence and wellbeing: Reducing isolation and loneliness.
This section of the strategy tells you:
- What we have identified as the key priorities relating to this theme;
- Why we have identified these key priorities;
- What we plan to do to make a positive difference.
Many of the plans set out in this and other themes in the Ageing Well strategy are ambitious, and will require close and effective partnerships across a range of local organisations from the statutory, community and private sectors and, crucially, with local communities for these ambitions to be realised.
Isolation and loneliness can and do have a significant impact on people’s wellbeing, independence and quality of life. Being lonely is very bad for both physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Loneliness increases blood pressure and diminishes the ability to refrain from risky behaviour. It can lead to cognitive decline in adults, and is associated with depression. Such is the effect of social relationships on the risk of death, it can be compared to that of smoking, and exceeds the effects of obesity.
In Tower Hamlets, a higher proportion of older people live alone, are on a low income, report poor health, and are of non-white ethnicity than in England; all factors that were found, through research, to be independently associated with loneliness. For all of these reasons, and in the context of the incidence data set out below, tackling loneliness and isolation is a key Mayoral priority.
Update Spring 2018
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