Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
23 December 2015 16:37
A senior woman is helped to use the internet
Councils should offer more activities for older people to stave off loneliness, such as singing and internet training, a health watchdog says.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has published new guidance aimed at increasing independence and mental wellbeing.
It says older people should be encouraged to join community choirs, read to young children in schools and take part in group walks. Local authorities should also promote arts and crafts and other creative activities, Nice believes.
Another way to boost well-being is by taking a holiday. Pensioners up to the age of 100 can travel abroad with seniors travel insurance.
There is a need to offer "intergenerational activities", according to Nice, which uses the examples of older people helping with reading in schools or young people providing older people with support to use new technologies.
The watchdog wants pensioners to be given technical support so they can get to grips with mobile phones and internet-enabled TVs and computers.
The importance of maintaining friendships to prevent loneliness is also highlighted, with calls for schemes such as befriending programmes in places of worship or home visits between people of similar ages.
The mental health benefits of volunteering should also be made much clearer to older people, Nice says.
The watchdog also says that health workers in contact with older people should be made aware that certain life events or circumstances are more likely to increase the risk of physical and mental decline.
Older people whose partners have died in the past two years are particularly at risk, it explains.
Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at Nice, says ageing affects everyone differently and there are many factors that contribute to a person's ability to remain independent, avoid loneliness and maintain their mental wellbeing.
The new guidelines offer advice on putting this into practice. Professor Leng adds that this includes looking at what is already in local areas and how it can be improved. Are there any transport difficulties, for example, and do older people know there are activities and services available?
20 January 2017
Winter sports enthusiasts are being urged to check they have the right insurance after new research shows only 1 in 6 people are covered under their standard travel insurance policy.
19 January 2017
Nearly 1,000 people have had their holidays in Gambia cut short amid growing political unrest in the African state.
18 January 2017
Researchers at Cambridge University may have made a breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary findings.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
Stress could be as significant a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as smoking, drinking and overeating, new research shows.
24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.