This report by the National Assembly for Wales Health, Social Care and Sport Committee looked into the extent and impact of loneliness and isolation experienced by people in Wales.
It heard that Wales has a higher percentage of older people within its population than any other part of the UK and often this means people are more reliant on social services and have more complex needs.
It also found that the type of housing influences the way in which individuals engage with their communities. Interim data from the Cognitive Function and Ageing Well study - Wales identified a socio-economic gradient in loneliness, with older adults living in local authority housing and those with lower educational attainment found to be at greater risk of loneliness as they aged.
In advance of the Welsh Government publishing its strategy in 2019, the committee makes 6 wider recommendations. These include:
- The Welsh Government review the timescales for the development of its strategy to address loneliness and isolation, with a view to publication before 2019;
- The Welsh Government works with the voluntary sector and local government to secure the funding stability needed by voluntary sector organisations to continue to provide vital support services for people experiencing loneliness and isolation by introducing three year funding programmes; and
- The Welsh Government undertakes an evaluation to assess the impact of intergenerational contact on people experiencing loneliness and isolation.