Published On: Wed, Apr 2nd, 2014 on 4:18 pm

12% of Calderdale’s over 65’s who live alone are feeling trapped

Elderly Person

Over 11,000 people aged over 65 are living alone in Calderdale and 12% of them are feeling trapped in their own home, according to the NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

To tackle the issue of loneliness, the CCG and Calderdale Council are jointly investing nearly £1 million into a programme that hopes to work with regional community organisations and development trusts to strengthen support.

It will improve access for people and the health and social care sector by bringing together existing community schemes and encourage the community to get involved in creating new ways to draw lonely people back into community life.

NHS Calderdale’s CCG’s Clinical Lead Dr Steven Cleasby said: “We want to put an end to loneliness. As well as the impact on a person’s physical health, loneliness and low social interaction are reasons for mental illness and even suicide in older age.

“It particularly affects the over 75’s who are a priority for the CCG.”

The CCG has found that lonely people tend to have higher use of medication, fall more frequently and become more reliant on care services.

Paul Butcher, Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, added: “We are still in the early stages of planning the programme but we have already researched schemes which have worked well in other areas.

“This could include befriending lonely older people providing them with regular contact with a friendly face, activity clubs where people can meet to prepare and share meals for those who struggle to cook and mobile solutions to help dementia sufferers get around.”

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