Loneliness and/or Social isolation is a significant and growing public health challenge for County Durham’s population. It is associated with poor physical, mental and emotional health including increased rates of cardio-vascular disease, hypertension, cognitive decline and dementia.

Although loneliness/social isolation is most common in the elderly, it is not limited to that age-group and children and young people may also be affected.

Related Factsheets:

Loneliness in the older population: Age UK Interactive Atlas for County Durham | Loneliness

Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. The over 60s is the fastest-growing group in society and there are more of us than ever before.

Age UK has explored some of the factors which could increase the risk of loneliness in older people and the spatial distribution within a local authority area data from published studies and combining it with data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Age UK have produced interactive ‘heat’ maps for each English local authority and the research they have produced can be accessed in the Loneliness research and resources section of their website.

The ELSA is a representative longitudinal survey of people aged 50 or over living in the community in England. The survey has been used to identify six factors associated with an older person being often lonely: self-reported health status, household size, housing ownership, activities of daily living (ADLs), multiple eye conditions, and marital status.

The data in the heat map link below is displayed at the Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) geography for County Durham, with ward boundaries within the county included for contextual purposes.

Age UK Loneliness Map for County Durham

Useful Links: