Loneliness adult social care

 

By Leigh Boobyer – Local Democracy Reporter

More than half of adult social care users in Gloucestershire are feeling lonely, according to official figures.

In an NHS survey of people using social care, 51 per cent said they had not had as much contact as they wanted with people they like in 2017-18, but it is down from 58 per cent seven years ago, the earliest period with available data.

In Gloucestershire, there were 540 social care users surveyed last year, of which 274 felt lonely, according to Public Health England estimates.

Many receiving social care are elderly people, while there are also some younger adults with disabilities.

The survey questioned those over 18 receiving long-term support funded or managed by social services.

The percentage who wanted more contact in Gloucestershire was below the average for England, where the proportion was 54 per cent.

Nationally, more elderly people in the survey were affected by loneliness – 57 per cent of those over 75 compared with 41 per cent of the young adults between 25 and 34 years.

Gloucestershire County Council, which runs adult social care services in the county, said research is underway to tackle loneliness in the county.

Councillor Roger Wilson, cabinet member for adult social care at the council, said: “Loneliness can have an impact on older people’s general health and wellbeing which is why it’s important we help our most vulnerable stay connected to their community.

“Working with the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group we have developed the Community Wellbeing Service which is there to help people to understand what support is available to them in their local area. We live in a vibrant county, with well developed voluntary and community groups so it’s often not just about new services, but also helping people to make connections to what already exists.

“The Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board will also be taking a deeper look into the issue in the new year to work out where loneliness is more likely to be a problem in our county and how we can tackle this.”