Charity working to reduce loneliness in older people

A local charity aimed at reducing loneliness in older people has highlighted the impact loneliness can cause.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriends, which has been running for almost 20 years, referenced the findings of a recent report from Centre Forum, which found that half of the over-85s age group feel lonely some or all of the time.

Research suggests loneliness is strongly associated with greater risk of various illnesses and that lonely people are more likely to undergo early admission into residential or nursing care.

Chair person of the charity, Angela Broad, said: “Sixty eight per cent of the people registered with our service are between the ages of 80-102.

“We know how devastating loneliness can be for some older people and are very grateful to our 106 volunteer befrienders who regularly visit older people in our community. Despite having increased our capacity by 50 per cent over the past years, we struggle to meet the ever increasing demand.”

The charity’s work was held up as a positive example for improving older people’s wellbeing at a Member’s Business debate in the Scottish Parliament in May.