That is mentioned in several documents, each saying it can be worse than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Many point out that by reducing the effects of loneliness other NHS costs may be reduced, eg injuries from falls, depression, under nourishment or poor diet, and early admission to residential care. Papers on the subject point out that as the percentage of elderly increases so does loneliness.
There are many excellent examples of efforts to end loneliness and provide better care for those likely to be lonely. The sooner these examples can be made known and replicated the better.
The problem is who is responsible for taking action on, or combating, loneliness? Is it central or local governement? Is a good neighbourhood action policy the answer? Is it not essential that all of these need some joined up policy?
From central government we need the funding and guidance. From local government we need the administration and resources to help set up local schemes with trained befrienders/buddies. And it is essential that every neighbourhood possible has its own panel with awareness of the needs of its own local people and able to  identify them.
Somehow from all this we must have systems guided by wishes of the clientele, Top – Down and Outside – In won’t work for all; it has to be from Grass Roots – Up and Inside – Out if we really care.
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