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    More than 280,000 older Scots feeling lonely

    Written by on September 12, 2019

    More than a quarter of older people in the Forth Valley say they feel lonely some, or most of the time.

    The study, by charity Age Scotland, found one in four over-60s don’t meet up with a friend, relative or neighbour even once a week.

    People living in deprived areas are also nearly twice as likely to feel isolated.

    Brian Sloan, Chief Executive of Age Scotland, said: “It’s heart-breaking to think of hundreds of thousands of older people going a week or more without meeting a friend, relative or neighbour. While loneliness can affect us at any age, older people can be more vulnerable due to bereavement, retirement or health or mobility issues.

    “Loneliness is having a devastating impact on older people’s health and well-being. It increases the risk of high blood pressure and developing dementia, as well as seriously affecting mental health.

    “The Scottish Government’s loneliness strategy is a great start, but we need to make sure it is embedded right across all departments and throughout the public sector. There are positive first steps already under way, but tackling loneliness as a public health crisis should be a priority.

    “At the same time we can all do our bit to reach out to lonely older people in our communities. More than half a million older people say that something as simple as a few minutes of conversation makes a difference to their week.”