Ten thousand pensioners in Stockport and Tameside could be suffering physical and mental health problems as a result of being lonely.
Today Denton and Reddish’s MP highlighted loneliness as a major health and care issue to be taken seriously by government and local organisations alike.
Gwynne also called on people to join the Campaign to End Loneliness – so that people in Stockport and Tameside are working together to tackle loneliness.
According to national and international research – an average of 10 per cent of the over 65s say they are lonely or very lonely.
In Tameside this means there are around four thousand lonely pensioners who could be experiencing serious long-term effects on their health as a result.
In Stockport, the figure could be as high as six thousand.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“If we don’t start to champion loneliness as a health and care issue, elderly people in our community will continue to have their lives cut short.
“It’s estimated that ten thousand people in Tameside and Stockport suffer from being lonely – and this is serious, because we know that loneliness harms health.
“This is why I am urging action and for people to join the Campaign to End Loneliness – so that Denton and Reddish can become a stronger community, where people are less at risk of being isolated.”
Laura Ferguson at Campaign to End Loneliness said:
“MPs need to know how many about the health and personal problems loneliness causes to their constituents: it is hidden and unless those in positions of leadership are asking questions about how best to help people who are lonely, those who are most isolated can be forgotten.
“Finding those who are lonely is vital at times like Christmas, but their lives must be helped all year-round, both one to one, in their neighbourhoods and by authorities making decisions about our health.
“Responsibility for addressing this health problem lies with those making decisions about the health of the whole population in every local area.”