The Campaign to End Loneliness reported that loneliness and isolation may be as harmful to health and wellbeing as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People who experience severe loneliness tend to visit GPs more often and enter residential care earlier.
Under the Care Act, Councils have a responsibility to address loneliness and social isolation, in order to prevent people needing care and support.
The Campaign to End Loneliness investigated tools and indicators which could help with the identification of people experiencing, or at risk of, loneliness. The following report explores the evidence on identifying loneliness and summarises current insights into how services can improve outreach and support.
Goodman, A. Adams, A. [and] Swift, HJ. (2015). Hidden citizens: how can we identify the most lonely older adults? London: Campaign to End Loneliness, April 8th 2015.
There is also an Executive Summary.