Loneliness was in the news in 2018 with both the results of the BBC’s Loneliness Experiment and the launch of the Government’s first loneliness strategy. Research by the British Red Cross and the Co-op (Kantar Public, 2016) estimate that over 9 million people in the UK (one in five) are always or often lonely, with life changes such as retirement, loss of mobility, divorce or bereavement acting as a trigger for loneliness. Appropriate housing can make a real difference to a person’s physical health and wellbeing, and to their sense of loneliness and isolation.
Extra care or other housing schemes can both offer their own community and be part of a community in the wider neighbourhood; but some people still feel alone or outside the community in which they live. It doesn’t have to be this way and there are services which can reduce loneliness to prevent social isolation. There is no one solution to loneliness, it requires effort with individual and collective action. We explore here what research tells us about practical steps that can be taken to develop effective services to reduce loneliness, both in and outside housing schemes.
SOURCE: Katey Twyford and Andrea Wigfield. “Exploring how to Develop Effective services to Reduce Loneliness.” Housing LIN, MAY 2019.