Stirling Council launches project to combat isolation and loneliness among older people
LinkAge Stirling aims to reduce social isolation by helping people feel more connected with their communities.
The pilot project will be launched in North Rural Stirling, which has a high percentage of elderly residents. Currently one in five of the area’s population is over the age of 65 and it is projected that by 2032 this will rise to almost 1 in 3.
Older people are more likely to experience periods of loneliness, which is known to contribute to a higher incidence of mental and physical health problems. Getting out and about can become more of a challenge due to health or mobility issues, and this can be a particular issue in rural areas.
North Rural Stirling was chosen for the pilot because the area has some of the longest drive and public transport times in Scotland to access key services, such as GP surgeries or the Post Office.
The council is set to introduce a Linkage co-ordinator for the rural north area, who will assist people to access services and activities locally, help them to meet more people in their community, provide information and advice on the support available and help to build confidence and promote independence.
The project will also seek to publish and distribute a database of information on events and services available to older people, to help those who are not able to access details online.
Convenor of the social care and health convenor, Scott Farmer, said: “This project will help older people make connections that will improve their quality of life, while allowing them to remain within their own homes and communities.
“Social isolation can often have a detrimental effect on the lives of older members of our communities. An ageing population brings with it specific challenges that, as a council, we need to be ready to meet. We recognise that our older resident may require specific support and this project will help us achieve our aim of making the Stirling area a great place to grow older.”