Age UK is the country's largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. It campaigns on different issues from calling for reform of the care system to trying to improve the bus route in local communities. Age UK has been exploring what factors make older people more at risk of loneliness and whether people with similar risk levels live near each other.
The data comes from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a representative longitudinal survey of people aged 50 or over living in the community in England. The survey has been used to identify six factors associated with an older person being often lonely: self-reported health status, household size, housing ownership, activities of daily living (ADLs), multiple eye conditions, and marital status.
The Office for National Statistics used these indicators to create data tables that applied the risk factors and weighting to the Census (2011) which then allowed the identification the risk of loneliness at neighbourhood level.The data was put together with mapping software to create maps which highlight the hotspots of highest risk of loneliness for older people.
When the maps are used alongside local knowledge and an understanding of local neighbourhoods, they can be used to improve the allocation of limited resources across a geographic area and can help us to understand whether existing services are reaching areas of need
The data is displayed at a ward level, with an individual report created for each local authority:
To learn more about this project, and about Instant Atlas and Age UK, please click here