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Widespread social exclusion of older adults increases health risk

Widespread social exclusion of older adults increases health risk
21st September 2012

The physical and mental health of older adults is being put at risk by widespread social exclusion.

A recent study by the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) revealed that one in six people in their fifties were socially excluded in two or more areas in their life in 2008. This is a rise of 13 per cent since 2002.

Common barriers facing older adults include access to decent housing, public transport and local amenities.

The situation was observed to be more severe among those aged 85 or older, with 38 per cent experiencing two or more forms of exclusion. While this is ten per cent decrease from 2002 levels, the number is still higher than what would be considered ideal.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: "For many being socially excluded can lead to feelings of loneliness which research shows has a significantly adverse effect on physical and mental well-being, equivalent in some studies to well established risk factors such as obesity and smoking."

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