Extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chance of dying prematurely, Age UK said as it warned that more than a million people aged 65 and over admit to usually feeling lonely.
– Age UK's charity director Caroline Abrahams.
Loneliness not only makes life miserable for older people, it is also really bad for their health making them more vulnerable to illness and disease.
It is time to take loneliness seriously and that's why we're asking everyone to take action by donating today to help us carry on supporting older people to make the most out of later life.
Voluntary sector services like Age UK's have never been more important because funding cuts are forcing many of the local services that help older people stay connected, such as lunch clubs, to scale down or close.
The charity is calling on people to send a donation by calling 0800 169 8787 or texting HELLO to 70004 to donate £3 or visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/loneliness