Helping elderly tackle loneliness

A debate's started in Bristol today to try and tackle loneliness and isolation among older people in the city. Photo: ITV News West Country

A debate's started in Bristol today to try and tackle loneliness and isolation among older people in the city.

Bristol's Mayor George Ferguson spent the morning talking to a group of older people at the Southville Centre about the issue.

It's part of a consultation by the group, Bristol Ageing Better (BAB).

It wants to gather older people's experience of being lonely and will then feed those views ino a bid to the National Lottery to try and secure funding for schemes to address loneliness and isolation.

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson spoke to a group of older people about loneliness in Bristol today. Credit: ITV News West Country
  • There are 55,900 people over 65 in Bristol including 9,000 over 85 (Census 2011). ****
  • *****Of these 42% of people aged 50 plus report ill health/disability and 35% aged 65 and over live alone (Census 2011). *
  • People most at risk are those: living in poverty, living alone, caring for someone else, with dementia, bereaved, misusing drugs/alcohol, having a sensory impairment, from a black or minority ethnic background, living in a care home. ****
  • *****A University of Chicago study carried out over six years and published in February 2014 found that, compared with the average person in the study of 2,000 people aged 50 and over, those who reported being lonely had a 14% greater risk of dying. *
  • Bristol is one of 32 local authorities of 100 to get through to the next round of the funding bid. The Big Lottery has an overall £70 million fund for the programme and is expected to make awards of between £2 million to £6 million each to 15-20 Local Authority Areas in July.