- Over two-thirds of people in Glasgow have experienced loneliness
- The Campaign to End Loneliness and Glasgow City Council are hosting a Loneliness Summit to challenge and combat loneliness in the city
- 9 in 10 people in Glasgow believe loneliness in older age is now ‘more likely than ever’
- Nearly two-thirds of people from Glasgow say that admitting you are lonely is difficult
- Nine in ten older Glaswegians believe that it is hard for older people to admit they are lonely because they don’t want to be a burden
- But 7 in 10 Glaswegians say they want to help address the loneliness epidemic
The Campaign to End Loneliness has revealed that over two-thirds of Glaswegians have experienced loneliness. 9 in 10 people in Glasgow believe loneliness in older age is now “more likely than ever”, with almost two-thirds saying that admitting to loneliness is difficult.
To challenge and combat the loneliness that thousands of older people in Glasgow experience, The Campaign to End Loneliness and Glasgow City Council are hosting a Loneliness Summit on 6 February. The Loneliness Summit takes place at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, just weeks after the Scottish government released its strategy on tackling loneliness and isolation.
The Summit will be opened by Jackie Kay, the Poet Laureate of Scotland. Other speakers include Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland and Tressa Burke, Chief Executive of Glasgow Disability Alliance. The Summit also marks the launch of the Campaign to End Loneliness in Glasgow.
The Campaign to End Loneliness is supported with National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund. The Campaign will work with local businesses, individuals and organisations to tackle loneliness in Glasgow.
Anne Callaghan, the Campaign to End Loneliness’ Campaign Manager for Scotland, said:
“We are delighted to launch the Campaign to End Loneliness in Glasgow. Glasgow is a world-leading friendly city and renowned for its big heart. We welcome refugees and we strive to be a dementia- friendly city. Now it’s time for us to become a world-leader in tackling loneliness.
“Loneliness is an epidemic. There 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK, and the health impacts are devastating; it is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Most worrying, however, is the popular view that loneliness in older age is more likely than ever – that loneliness is inevitable. We’re here to challenge that.
“Loneliness is older age is not inevitable if we all play our part – from local and national government, civil society and businesses. There is some great outreach work to support older people in Glasgow – but now we need a strategic and coordinated approach to combat loneliness.
“It will be challenging; the stigma of loneliness means that 9 in 10 older people in Glasgow fear admitting to being lonely in case they are seen as a burden. We want to break down this stigma. The need for friendship and support does not reduce with age. Whether we’re 24 or 84, we all need connections that matter. It’s time for us to all take action and connect with the thousands of lonely older people in our communities. Together, we can end loneliness.”
Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
“Loneliness can have a potentially devastating impact on our daily lives, health and wellbeing. Feelings of loneliness are linked with poor health, including high blood pressure, weakened immune system, and an increased risk of developing dementia.
“We have been working with various agencies and local groups to tackle this. The role of the Summit is to bring those voices together to launch the Campaign to End Loneliness in Glasgow, and determine the best way forward for us to achieve this together.”
For interviews, case studies or further comment, please contact Alice in the Campaign to End Loneliness press office on 0203 865 3907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Loneliness: The Facts
- Loneliness is as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
- Loneliness is worse for you than obesity
- Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia, heart disease and depression
- There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one)
- Half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all (Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one)
- Over half (51%) of all people aged 75 and over live alone (Office for National Statistics 2010. General Lifestyle Survey 2008)
- Two fifths all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age, U.K., 2014. Evidence Review: Loneliness in Later Life. London: Age UK)
- There are over 2.2 million people aged 75 and over living alone in Great Britain, an increase of almost a quarter (24%) over the past 20 years (ONS)