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Lonliness Task Force

It is well known that loneliness and social isolation are some of the greatest public health risks of today. While much of the research focuses on loneliness in the elderly, loneliness is now as prevalent in the young as it is in the elderly, it just manifests itself differently.

The Loneliness Taskforce was established by Dr. Keith Swanick, a Fianna Fail Senator, in collaboration with Seán Moynihan of ALONE to coordinate a response to the epidemic of loneliness and social isolation in Ireland. The Loneliness Taskforce is seeking to increase awareness about the issue and to produce a set of recommendations for Government, state agencies and all policy makers.

Loneliness never discriminates between young and old, rich and poor or urban and rural and that is why more needs to be done to tackle the scourge of loneliness and social isolation.

Some of the things to consider about loneliness and social isolation

  • 1 in 3 older people live on alone and research shows that loneliness can decrease life expectancy by up to 10 years
  • Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health and are worse for us than well-known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity
  • In the UK, research in 2014 showed that 40% of all older people say the television is their main company

Loneliness never discriminates between young and old, rich and poor or urban and rural and that is why more needs to be done to tackle the scourge of loneliness and social isolation.

The Loneliness Taskforce intends to produce a report on what is needed to tackle the epidemic of loneliness across the island of Ireland. The Taskforce includes a range of people from the community and voluntary sector, nursing, sport, business, medicine, youth work, psychiatry and NGOs. More information can be found on the Lonliness Task Force website: click here.

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