Do we need a Minister for Loneliness? Yes – to keep us all living longer

The UK has just appointed Tracey Crouch as its first Minister for Loneliness following a 2016 recommendation.

It sounds strange, but consider this. Loneliness has been linked to a range of health conditions including dementia, high blood pressure and early death.

Despite this, governments tend to spend up big on health services rather than social services.

Check out this clip here. It’s from a new TED Talk titled ‘The secret to living longer may be your social life’.

Surprisingly, it found social integration – how much you interact with people throughout the day – is the top predictor for a long, healthy life.

This was followed by close relationships with family and friends.

Keep your friends – and community – close

Both were well ahead of the next two entries – quitting smoking and drinking – which most of us would consider more harmful.

There are a number of programs working to combat social isolation here, including the Federal Government’s Community Visitors Scheme (CVS), but they have a relatively low public profile. More funding – and their own Minister – could make a big difference.

Rethinking our own behaviour can’t hurt either. Why not have a chat with that neighbour you always walk past or calling a relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while? Maybe it could save your life.

Watch the full TED talk here.

https://www.facebook.com/TED/videos/10159879660130652/

https://www.agedcare101.com.au/contributors/jill-donaldson-care 

https://www.agedcare101.com.au/contributors/annie-donaldson 

 

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the agedcare101.com.au and villages.com.au within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.