Numbers of old people dying alone increasing in the UK

Councils spent £1.56m last year providing about 2,200 public health funerals, a report by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows. This is up from £1.46m the previous year. Councillor David Rogers, chairman of the LGA’s community wellbeing board said “Our ageing population is growing rapidly and so is the worrying picture of isolation and loneliness across the country.” More info.

2 thoughts on “Numbers of old people dying alone increasing in the UK

  1. Lonely deaths will increase–what can we do?

    Here in the US we have about 1/3 of older people living alone–centenarians are the fastest growing segment of our population–more single boomers getting older. Even now we have so many people who have outlived their friends, family, peers and have gradually or largely withdrawn from anything but loose ties to ‘community’ (wherever they are, can be a city, suburb, small town, ‘senior community’)–and that number will grow.

    Here and now, one thing that we boomers can contribute is connectedness to our elders on a social basis. On an individual/small group level: perhaps it’s contributing a low-cost cell phone to a neighbor on a family plan, and visiting regularly.. Or every eHealth company–especially PERS companies–can ‘adopt’ a group of customers that fit this ‘alone’ profile.  A HQ person or regional clinician develops a personal relationship (meaning phone calls, perhaps a visit?) with the ‘adoptee’.  (I can see the benefits for younger staff or those who don’t have a lot of contact with the customer–like tech or ops staff, but especially every marketer.)

    Connectedness in home eHealth IS a major selling point but not just to clinicians.  Who’s there already (US) are companies like FineThanx, GrandCare…others that have the capability are interactive monitors like Bosch Health Buddy, Intel Health Guide, Waldo Health..

  2. Loneliness

    It is a sad fact that an increasing number of day centres are being closed, this only adds to the loneliness of people living alone within their own home without the benefits of social interaction which we all need for our own health and well-being.

    Telecare is a valuable tool in supporting people within their own home and managing the associated physical risks. However,this needs to be balanced with providing social interaction and this is where day centres have a valuable role to play, they could be also be used as a hub for Telehealth with many attendees being able to access this technology as part of their daily visit, thereby maximising the access and usage of Telehealth equipment to many more people and therefore making it more cost effective.

    We have a double win:
    i) better social interaction and therefore improved health through reduced levels of potential depression and therefore even more likely to want to remain living within their own home
    ii) monitoring of physiological well-being by providing the opportunity to have their vital life signs monitored on a regular basis, so addressing their physical health

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