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Now we must act against loneliness in Sweden

Interviewees: The worst for the elderly

This is a discussion article. The writer is responsible for the opinions expressed in the text, not Aftonbladet.

One in five men and one in ten women say they don't have a close friend.  It is time to follow the UK's example and introduce prescription social activism in all health centers in all regions, write Kirsten Thelander and Lisa Billing.
One in five men and one in ten women report that they do not have a close friend. It is time to follow the UK’s example and introduce prescription social activism in all health centers in all regions, write Kirsten Thelander and Lisa Billing.

discussion. Sweden recently published statistics New statistics on involuntary loneliness in Sweden. This is the first time in eight years that Statistics Sweden has asked questions about loneliness in its comprehensive survey of living conditions.

The result was horrific.

One in five men and one in ten women say they don’t have a close friend.

Unit It is the worst for the old. Every tenth person aged 80 or over experiences loneliness.

But many young people also feel lonely: More than eight percent of people between the ages of 20 and 29 say they have felt lonely most of the time or for the past four weeks.

The pandemic may have led to more loneliness in Sweden, but the problem is not new.

In March 2020, the Arena Idea think tank published the report “Loneliness kills – involuntary loneliness in Sweden”. The report is based on Swedish and European research on involuntary loneliness, as well as interviews with people in their professional role who see and attempt to counteract involuntary loneliness.

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The report states that involuntary loneliness is a major public health problem in Sweden.

American researcher Julian Holt-Lunstad showed that social community has a greater impact on people’s chances of long life than any other preventive measure, such as exercising, quitting smoking, or reducing excessive alcohol consumption.

Loneliness can cause and exacerbate physical and mental illness, and is often associated with them Social problems such as addiction and destructive lifestyles.

Despite this, the unit is still considered alone. But experiences from those who have committed themselves to breaking out of involuntary loneliness show that those affected often appreciate receiving tangible questions and help from loneliness.

Turning a blind eye to the consequences of loneliness means that a large individual experiences high social costs, and a significant strain on health care workers, social workers, care workers, and others who often have to deal with the consequences of loneliness in their professional roles, without ever having to till then. Good road access.

This is tragic, not least because other countries have developed successful efforts.

When the English city of Fromm began working to enhance people’s access to social relationships, including prescribing social activity (“social prescriptions”), health improved in all age groups. The number of emergency healthcare visits is down 15 percent, a result where no effort has worked before.

Now is the time for Sweden to act as well.

● Sweden must follow suit Great Britain Examples and introduction of social activity on prescriptions in all health centers in all regions. Other human care professions such as counsellors, social workers, and home care personnel should also be able to use this method.

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Britain has only one minister. Sweden, like the United Kingdom, should develop a national strategy against involuntary unity.

Christine Thilander Report writer, Grid stopped feeling involuntary lonely
Lisa BillingAnd Head of the Arena Ide . think tank

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