Research has shown that around 10% of all over 65s in the UK experience chronic loneliness every day.
In a place like Exeter that's 2,000 people - or 7,000 in Bristol.
Social isolation and loneliness have a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. Studies show that being lonely or isolated can impact on blood pressure and is closely linked with depression.
There are a number of initiatives are up and running to tackle the problem such as a tea dance in Exeter.
Older people are particularly vulnerable after the loss of family and friends. A tea dance can be a way to meet someone.
Research has shown that lacking social connections has the same risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,
But what if you are housebound and can't get out to a tea dance or similar event?
The Silver Listeners project started in Cornwall but is now thriving in Torbay. Children telephone a Silver Listener and then read them a short story. This not only helps the children to become more confident in their reading skills but also links them to older people in their community.
As the UK's population rapidly ages, the issue of acute loneliness and social isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing our society. A tea dance and a weekly phone call are two small ways that have a big impact.
Watch the full report here: