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New research confirms health risks of loneliness

APR
20

New research shows that loneliness is linked to a 30% increase in risk of heart disease and strokes, as reported by The Guardian (19 April).

These new statistics highlight why the work of Contact the Elderly is so important. For over 50 years Contact the Elderly has been supporting older people who live on their own, with little to no contact with friends or family, by taking them out to afternoon tea once a month. Our independent research has shown that regular, face-to-face interaction has a positive effect on mental health and physical wellbeing. You can read the full report here.

“Social isolation is a serious issue that affects many thousands of people across the UK’’, says Christopher Allen, a senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation.

For the report, researchers conducted various studies involving more than 181,000 adults. The findings have been published online in the journal Heart. The pooled data showed that loneliness and social isolation was associated with a 29% increased risk of a heart or angina attack and a 32% heightened risk of having a stroke.

Mary Rance, CEO of Contact the Elderly, said the research highlights the importance of interventions like Contact the Elderly's tea parties.

''Contact the Elderly knows from more than 50 years experience that regular face-to-face contact can improve the health and wellbeing of isolated older people. Not only is this demonstrated through our independent research but it is also seen first-hand through our volunteers who see older guests thrive and feel happier as a result of being taken out to tea every month.’’

Contact the Elderly helps older people aged 75 or over who live on their own and have little to no contact with friends or family. We work extensively with community nurses, GPs, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals to reach out to older people who need our service.

If you know of, or work with, an older person who may benefit from joining a Contact the Elderly tea party you can easily refer them to our service here.

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