Social group activities for elderly people not only prevent loneliness but positively impact on general health and well-being, research shows.
National charity Contact The Elderly organises monthly Sunday teas for older people and research revealed that 75% of attendees felt more optimistic and cheerful having joined the group.
Half of members said their general health had improved as a result and 26% added that they visited the doctor less often since joining.
Roderick Sime, director of Contact the Elderly, commented: “Even when an older person has been identified and included on welfare lists, resources are limited and loneliness is not considered a priority condition.
“Loneliness and social isolation play a pivotal role in older people’s well-being, affecting both physical and mental health. Sundays remain a particularly lonely day of the week, especially for older people living alone.”
The research was part of a wider three year project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to test and develop different models for setting up social groups for older people.