22 March 2017
Tackling Loneliness and Isolation in Later Life: Improving Health and Wellbeing

Left to right: Chair Tom Berney; Christine Wilson, Human Development Scotland; Rob Snodgrass, Grey Matters, Helensburgh and Oban, and Tim Puntis, LGBTI.

This Holyrood Briefing event today examined how future actions for tackling loneliness and isolation will be embedded in the Scottish Government's national strategy. The SOPA Panel Discussion - billed as 'Putting the Voice of Older People at the Forefront of the Debate' started proceedings by presented issues that mattered to them: 

  • How ageism contributes to isolation and loneliness
  • The disregard of older citizens' contributions to society, the economy and services
  • How some people overcome loneliness and isolation
  • Suggestions for possible future action.

What they said:

"Older people have knowledge and life experience and continue to learn. We use this experience in the U3A and SOPA. By asking people what they want to learn and what concerns them, and then sharing this with Ministers and officials, we ensure important messages reach the policymakers." Tom Berney

"Remember there are more older people living in the community than in care homes and the definition of community has changed. In Helensburgh, we have an older citizenship group of 200 people who readily support one another." Rob Snodgrass

"Scotland is the best country in Europe for LGBTI people, but organisations need to revisit the way services are delivered. Just ask us and we will help you!" Tim Puntis

"We live with different relationships following working life or losing a loved one. It means we have to get to know ourselves as single people. Some suffer from lifelong relationship difficulties  - they want to be close but are afraid and push others away. We should recognise this and create an empathetic space." Christine Wilson

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SOPA is grateful for funding received from the Scottish Government, National Lottery Awards for All and Tudor Trust.
Tudor Trust
Scottish Government
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