One in five older Australians feel lonely, particularly those aged 75 and over.
Those who live in aged care facilities or live alone, and have health issues that limit their mobility are more likely to experience loneliness. The number of older Australians feeling lonely is estimated to drastically rise with a growing ageing population. Loneliness is a social and public health issue.
Lonely older people are more likely to experience depression, physical and cognitive decline, and a range of illnesses that require long-term care. For example, loneliness increases the risk of dementia by 40 per cent for the older population, regardless of gender, education, ethnicity and even genetic risk. Loneliness is also one of the top causes of social exclusion among older people. It's something we need to take seriously. At Lifeline Tasmania, we take it seriously.
The Chats Program aims to help individuals to improve their health, happiness and confidence and reduce any feelings of loneliness or isolation for Older Tasmanians.
Reducing social isolation in older Tasmanians.