Research documents that dialogue-based contact with other people is vital to prevent loneliness and that loneliness results in reduced quality of life and significantly increasing health costs.
All municipalities are challenged by the combination of an increasing number of elderly people, flat or decreasing budgets and rising costs, so prevention is high on the agenda.
The Danish National Health Agency; October 2016:
“Loneliness can have serious consequences for the individual and is associated with lower self-esteem, anxiety, insecurity, mental and physical disorders. For example, it may be Alzheimer’s, symptoms of depression, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. If you are missing a social network, it may have as much influence on mortality as well-known risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and overweight. “
The Danish National Health Agency:
“Among elderly people who receive personal care, 25 percent feel often or regularly alone among others, while 50 percent often or occasionally feel unwanted alone. This is shown in a study of loneliness from 2012 “.
Master’s degree in Public Health – Measurement of loneliness among the elderly in Denmark – By Christina Kaarup Rasmussen & Line Bang-Olsen: i Folkesundhedsvidenskab:
“Improving the living conditions of the elderly in a late age will have many positive side effects. This will lead, among other things, to a life of greater quality of life and lower disease risk (Luanaigh & Lawlor 2008). In Denmark, there are almost 1 million people over 65, and by 2050 the number will rise to approx. 1.5 million (Statistics Denmark 2013). This demographic development will make the need to know the exact extent of loneliness of great public health scientific relevance, as loneliness is associated with reduced quality of life as well as increased morbidity and mortality, as well as the fact that the experience of loneliness increases with age. Read the assignment here.
Dane Age Association – Study of the future – Age is no obstacle:
Up to 120,000 Danes between 50 and 89 years – or six per cent. – is lonely. This is shown by the latest study that, as something new, has measured the occurrence of loneliness in the older part of the population. Loneliness has a significantly lower level of life satisfaction than people who are not lonely. Read the article here.