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Digital tool kit launched to help prevent loneliness

Being connected and communicating with other human beings is not only good for you, it could actually help you live longer – according to the Government’s Minster for Care Services, Paul Burstow. KitGuru sticks ‘When I’m 64’ on the gramophone and Zimmers off in search of answers.

Scan through the pages of something like the Daily Mail and you’ll no doubt find a good helping of stories about how drugs, alcohol and obesity are killing citizens off in droves.

However, loneliness can affect millions, but it doesn’t get anywhere near as many column inches.

You can define loneliness scientifically, according to Swansea University’s Vanessa Burholt, “Loneliness is the difference between your desired contact with people and the contact with people you actually have. Which explains why some people with lots of friends still feel lonely. It’s a subjective thing”.

She went on to explain, “It would be a mistake to think every older person is lonely. Throughout life there are peaks and troughs. We are constantly negotiating what our social resources are and whether we feel lonely or not”.

KitGuru can’t help thinking that low-priced global communications, increased use of video – as well as the awesome and far reaching power of social networks – will do a lot to help ease loneliness in the future.

The Campaign to End Loneliness has launched a new Digital Toolkit to help local councils and health authorities tackle loneliness in their area. It is funded by the Department of Health.

The toolkit contains the latest health research on loneliness, ways of collecting data on loneliness, advice on monitoring and treating loneliness and scales to measure it. You can download it from here.

If 103 year old super grans can make the effort - so can you!

KitGuru says: It’s all too easy to spend your life whizzing around without taking the time to make sure you’re still touching base with the older folks you know. Make a difference – reach out today!

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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