The Government released their very first Loneliness Strategy in October 2018. The strategy looks to change the way we see and act on loneliness and focuses on three key aims:
Improving the evidence base
To embed loneliness as a consideration across government policy
To build a national conversation on loneliness, to raise awareness of its impacts and to help tackle stigma
Suffolk has some of the highest risks of loneliness in the country with areas in Waveney, Mid Suffolk & Babergh in the bottom quartile for risk of loneliness in the over 65s. (Source:Age UK loneliness heat map)
Coinciding with the launch of the Government's first loneliness strategy, What Works Centre for Wellbeing have published 'What do we know about tackling loneliness?' This 'review of reviews' is based on 364 evidence reviews from across the world, and within the UK.
From a physical activity perspective, the review finds that it is ineffective as a remedy to loneliness in isolation. The review also found that there is no one size fits all solution to solving loneliness and that interventions must be tailored to specific audiences. Those who are lonely also receive a greater benefit from these interventions than those that do not suffer from loneliness, further necessitating the need for interventions to be properly targeted.
The review also highlights the lack of studies concerned with loneliness in age groups other than older adults and that further work is needed in this area to understand what works well for those other than the over 55s.